Planet Rugby

Mallinder sings Myler's praises

01st November 2013 11:18

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Stephen Myler Northampton 2013

In top form: Stephen Myler

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder has hailed fly-half Stephen Myler's early-season performances as the best form of his Saints career.

Myler has impressed with ball in hand and with his goal-kicking this season, guiding his team to five victories in eight matches.

He has an 87 per cent goal-kicking accuracy in the Aviva Premiership and has also caught the eye in the Heineken Cup.

Myler's allround game has also improved considerably, especially since the arrival of Saints' new attack coach Alex King from Clermont Auvergne during the pre-season.

And Mallinder believes the 29-year-old former Salford City Reds player, who joined Saints in 2006, is playing his best rugby since he made the move to the Franklin's Gardens-based club.

"He's playing really, really well, probably the best we've seen him play," he told the Northampton Chronicle.

"A lot of that comes from being secure in your role and having game time out there.

"This is his last big game for us for a couple of weeks. We'll be giving him a minute because I don't think we've actually brought him off in any of the games this season.

"He's been fantastic for us, guiding the players around the pitch and making good opportunities. A lot is coming from him and he makes it looks very easy."

Myler has battled with several players - amongst them Shane Geraghty and Ryan Lamb - for Saints' number 10 jersey but Mallinder believes Myler's superb showings is because he is now the club's overwhelming first-choice number 10.

"You've always got to have players who can play in that position," he added.

"It's not easy. You can't just have one player who plays in that position because if he gets injured or if he gets selected to play for England you need someone who is going to step up.

"We've got a number who can play in that position: James Wilson is good for us there and Glenn Dickson, who started the season well playing a lot of games for the Wanderers.

"Glenn has been injured most recently but I'm delighted to say he's back and fit and raring to go again.

"You need players who can play in that position but for Stephen it's helped him being that number one."

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