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Myler ready for acid test

Northampton may have lifted the Amlin Challenge Cup only a week ago but Stephen Myler insists the success of their season will be decided by Saturday alone.

Saints are hoping to secure their first Aviva Premiership title when they face strong favourites Saracens in front of a sell-out crowd at Twickenham.

Last year was their only previous appearance in the final, losing heavily to Leicester, and Myler admits it is time for Northampton to be crowned English champions.

"The league season is our acid test as a club and squad. We've progressed a lot this year, but it comes down to one day determining whether we've been successful or not," he said.

"That's bit of a funny scenario to be in, but it's what we must work hard for and hopefully we can do it. I believe it will come down to who plays best on the day.

"It's one each between us and Saracens in the league and we're expecting a tough battle, Saracens at their best.

"They have quality players, so I'm sure they're professional enough to overcome losing in the Heineken Cup final last weekend and get back on page for this game."

Myler was named man of the match against Bath in last Friday's European final, continuing a terrific season that could have seen him win his second cap in England's first Test against New Zealand on June 7 had be not been action against Saracens.

While other fly-halves - most notably Danny Cipriani - find headlines easier to come by, Myler is happy to keep a low profile as long as he performs.

"(The lack of attention) is probably a little bit of my personality and nature. I won't compare myself to the others, but I'm a reserved guy and not particularly flamboyant in my personality," he said.

"I can't control what other people write about other players. I'm a rugby player and I try to do my best for the team on game day.

"That's my concern, getting column inches is not my job. My job is to play as well as I can for this team.

"Last season I had the most assists in the league. It doesn't bother me that that doesn't get mentioned, but I'd rather have that stat against my name then have people saying I'm flamboyant or a maverick.

"I care only about being as effective as I can and doing my best for the team. At the top level of rugby you need that element of discipline and control."

Twickenham will provide the arena for England's first and third-choice fly-halves to duel with Myler viewing Owen Farrell, the Red Rose's preferred pick in the position, as instrumental to Saracens' game.

"Owen knows the Saracens way very well and has been a huge part of their game and they're a very, very good team," Myler said.

"Saracens have been the most consistent team of the season which is why they finished top and they got to the Heineken Cup final. You're no mugs if you do that.

"Owen's been part of that and part of the England set-up. We expect Owen to be at the top of his game."


From Belfast Telegraph