Stephen Myler is no novice to pre-season training having endured plenty across the course of his professional rugby career, but this is his first as a London Irish player in the Gallagher Premiership.
Having gone through the rigors of elite rugby means the fly-half knows how important it is to enjoy down time during the off-season.
“I managed to catch up with some friends and family and got the opportunity to get a little break in, play some golf and keep up with my training. I’ve been excited ahead of this coming season and to get started early and be in good shape for when pre-season started, was important.”
Pre-season training doesn’t usually differ too much year on year, however this pre-season has seen some subtle differences which Myler alludes to.
“We are differing things slightly, training is focusing on where we want to be as a team, especially in terms of our playing style.
“The first four or five weeks of training saw a large emphasis on conditioning work and that is just trusting in the strength & conditioning team. They will get you on the right track and give you everything you need so, when the rugby starts you are in the right place physically.”
The squad have been setting the standards in training and this is an aspect that is driving a positive atmosphere amongst the group. This is something the squad seem to be thriving on.
“Everyone is looking forward to being back in the Gallagher Premiership, it’s going to be tough, but that is what we want. I feel like we are coming together as a squad now and we are getting some new additions in and we are trying to establish ourselves in terms of what we expect to achieve this season and how we want to be as a team.
“If we get everybody onboard, and everyone is certainly putting in the hard work from a physical standpoint, then we get enjoyment out of it because we know what our goal is, and we are working towards it.”
A number of the new recruits have already joined, with Will Goodrick-Clarke, Paddy Jackson and Curtis Rona all linking up with the squad, although it is the existing squad members who are setting the standards by which the new recruits must adjust to.
“There’s been a lot of good work from the boys that were here last year, and when the new boys have come in, we have shown them what this club and environment is about. The new guys have really brought into that, which is great to see.
“We have more additions to come in later and we need to use them to add to what we have already got and create something which is new. The squad is vastly different this year, so we need to use the foundations we had from last season for continuity. It is exciting times and I’m happy to be involved and excited by what’s to come.
A return to the Gallagher Premiership also means a return to Franklin’s Gardens for Myler. London Irish will venture up the M1 in January 2020.
“I had a couple of messages on social media, when we were promoted last year from Northampton fans saying that they couldn’t wait to see me back there, which was really nice.
“It will be good, it will obviously be different, but hopefully a good experience. It will be a tough place to go but it will be exciting, and I look forward to going back there with London Irish.”
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