Myles: I've got a lot to improve on
One of Manly's major off-season recruits Nate Myles will be tasked with adding starch to a forward pack that was at times found wanting in 2015 but the man himself reckons he has plenty of improving to do.
This comes despite the fact the 30-year-old is an incumbent member of both the Kangaroos and the all-conquering Maroons outfits.
Myles also said the move from the Gold Coast to Sydney's northern beaches was a "best of both worlds" scenario that would allow him to play his best footy while also allowing wife Tessa James to further her acting career.
Manly's pack last year came in for plenty of criticism following the departures of a host of stalwarts such as Anthony Watmough, Jason King and Glenn Stewart, while Brenton Lawrence and Jamie Buhrer missed the season through injury.
But the emergence of standout front rower Jake Trbojevic plus the return of Lawrence and Buhrer combined with the recruitments of Myles as well as Marty Taupau and the return from Parramatta of Darcy Lussick, Manly suddenly have one of the most impressive forward packs in the NRL, at least on paper.
"I'm very happy with the decision and while I haven't felt the full wrath of the pre-season yet everything's looking good," Myles told NRL.com of his move south.
"The coaching staff were very open on the first day with regards to what they want to achieve and I think everyone was really open to that and everyone was pretty happy but it's going to be hard work."
Front row is a later-blooming position than the outside backs and at 30 years of age Myles is hoping some of his best years still lie ahead.
"Yeah, dirty 30 is where it's at now and with the last probably two years club form-wise I think I've got a lot to improve on and I really hope to do that here at Manly but it starts by just ripping in during pre season," he said.
He was also looking forward to working alongside Trbojevic.
"I watched a lot of his football and he's a very, very good footy player," Myles said of his new teammate.
"I think the best is yet to come, he's a good young fella, he's a really good dude and it's very exciting."
Despite having spent 10 years living in Sydney in his time at the Bulldogs and Roosters, Myles said he had hardly ventured to the northern beaches and was looking forward to getting to know the area better.
"It's a fantastic part of the world. Where we've got a place I feel like I'm living like royalty, it's a beautiful spot," he said.
"I lived in Sydney for 10 years and didn't venture up this way more than once but I'm definitely lucky to be here."
Although wife Tessa James would have spent plenty of time filming up at Palm Beach in her time on Home And Away Myles said she wasn't much better acquainted with the area.
"Surprisingly she doesn't know it that well but she likes it here. It's a whole new journey and a new adventure so we're looking forward to it.
"For myself and my wife it was big that it was going to work for both of us this time. The Gold Coast, although for me it was really good, for what Tess wants to do it made things a lot harder.
"We've worked out a happy medium here and it's working. She's happier with the spot and the accessibility for what she wants to do. The key for us is to leave no stone unturned in what we both want to do and this is it."
The move also gives Myles the chance to play alongside close mate and Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, who is moving into his first ever season without Kieran Foran alongside him.
Myles had no doubts Cherry-Evans was ready to step up and shoulder the extra responsibility regardless of who his new halves partner turns out to be.
"I think Daly's already passed that point in his career where he's become a bit of a leader and I don't think he's going to have any problem stepping up again," Myles said.
"Just sitting down and talking to him now I've noticed a real difference in the way he is and the way he talks. He's definitely got that leadership quality and he probably sits a little bit more on the side of a leader that leads by example rather than just talking about it so I think he's going to have no problem with that."