Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar has stepped down from his role following the club’s dismal start to the season.
The West-Yorkshire outfit have lost 5 of their opening 6 Super League fixtures which led Agar to come under some scrutiny. Although he has left with immediate effect the club has announced he will remain a part of the ‘upstairs’ set up to be confirmed at a later date.
The former Wakefield Trinity boss has been tipped as the successor to Kevin Sinfield as Leeds’ director of Rugby. Assistant Jamie Jones-Buchanan will be the new interim head coach ahead of the sides Challenge Cup tie against local rivals Castleford Tigers.
Agar took the helm in 2019 and quickly became popular amongst supporters after steering the side clear from relegation. He followed that by delivering Challenge Cup glory in 2020 in which he received many plaudits for his rebuild.
Last year Leeds looked to build on from their domestic cup success and were within 80 minutes of a Grand Final but to agonisingly miss out. This year , despite numerous high profile signings, they have been unable to reach their recent heights which ultimately has led to the dismissal of Agar.
Agar told Sky Sports : “When I first took on the head coach’s job three years ago, I agreed with Kevin Sinfield and Gary Hetherington that I would do on the basis I can help the team move forward.”
“I agreed a six-month rolling contract and I was happy to continue whilst ever we was making progress.”
“However I don’t feel like I am having the impact I would hope to on the squad this year. I am proud of our record over the last three years. The club was in a tough position when I took over and we’ve got through the unprecedented challenges of Covid.”
“On the field we won the Challenge Cup at Wembley and reached two play offs. We also saw the emergence of a number of highly promising young players.”
It’s hard to say where Rhinos go from here, but Richard Agar’s tenure will undoubtedly pulverise opinion. Ending on a somewhat sour note, he has steadied the ship that looked like crashing beneath the surface and developed a bulk of young talent for his successor to work with.