Ospreys coach Toby Booth believes “consummate professional” Stephen Myler will make a great coach when he finally hangs up his boots.
The 38-year-old Myler is still going strong out on the pitch at the moment, producing a Man of the Match display in the 16-16 draw with reigning BKT United Rugby Championship title holders the DHL Stormers over the weekend.
Making light of the torrential rain, the former Northampton playmaker landed a late touchline conversion to level the scores, adding to his three earlier penalties.
Brought on board from London Irish in 2020, Myler has proved a quality recruit for the Ospreys with his vast experience and game management.
“He was my first signing and some would argue my best because I know exactly what Stephen Myler brings,” said head coach Booth. “He is the consummate professional and a very reliable person to have as the quarter-back out there. In conditions like that, that’s really important.
“When I arrived here, Gareth Anscombe was injured. We needed stability, we needed a person that people look up to, that would lead it.
“Stephen is very, very giving. He does a lot of work with other players. Part of being a selfless team-mate is passing the baton on and Steve will make a great coach when he finishes, for sure, because he is very giving. I know he is interested in it.”
Booth says Englishman Myler is just the kind of week-in, week-out quality player the Welsh regions need on their books to supplement local talent.
“The way the season is set up, you have to have high-class players from outside Wales. If the regions want to be competitive, you have got to have them,” he said. “In terms of availability, it’s not just the international windows, it’s the camps that come before them, the rest periods that come after. You need quality that’s available for you.
“If you look at the Irish provinces, they have done it exceptionally well over the years. That’s what it takes to be competitive throughout a campaign.”
Booth also had warm words for another veteran in the shape of 37-year-old second row Alun Wyn Jones, who was a huge physical presence against the DHL Stormers. Wales and Lions great Jones showed he still has a huge amount to offer with the autumn international campaign just around the corner.
“Alun Wyn was very influential from a set piece point of view. Look at his maul defence,” said Booth. “He’s come back with a spring in his step, he’s got the bit between his teeth, he’s very deliberate about what he’s been doing, he’s led the team off the pitch in what he says.
“He obviously speaks very well and he leads by example from an effort point of view, in the nitty gritty. In Test match rugby, on nights like this against big sides, it’s the nitty gritty that matters.”
The Ospreys will now turn their attention to next Sunday’s Welsh derby clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade. They will head for Newport in good heart after holding their own with the champions.