1. ITV Report

Leeds Rhinos appoint Agar as new head coach

Leeds Rhinos have appointed interim boss Richard Agar as their head coach on a rolling 12-month deal.

Richard Agar will draw on the experience of two of his fellow Yorkshiremen, Daryl Powell and Brian McDermott, in attempting to bring back the glory days for Leeds.

47-year-old Agar was confirmed by the Rhinos' director of rugby Kevin Sinfield as the club's permanent head coach on a 12-month rolling contract after four months in temporary charge.

Agar took over from Australian Dave Furner, who lasted only three months after his side lost 10 of their first 14 games, and guided them to seven wins from their last 14 to guarantee their survival in Super League.

It's funny the way things work out, when I was thinking about taking the job, I did look at Daryl Powell and Brian McDermott and how they came into the job. "Brian took over at short notice from Bluey (Brian McClennan) and Daryl came in on the back of the club parting with Dean Lance and I think I can draw some similarities from those experiences.

"I think both guys went on to do marvellous jobs and, if I can aim up half as much as those two, I know I will have done a good job."It's come about through adversity but I feel I'm equipped to take that opportunity."

– Richard Agar, speaking at a press conference
Richard Agar Credit: PA Images

Leeds suffered a shock Challenge Cup defeat at the hands of Bradford in his first match, described by Agar as "probably one of the darkest days in the club's history", and took the team back to basics after losing heavily to Castleford a week later.

Four months on, Agar is confident he can continue the revival, even if he has to work with the existing squad.

"I'm quite happy with the squad," he said. "I think there's plenty of improvement left.

"There's parts of our game where it's crystal clear where we need to be better and I think some of that can be done in a bit of an off-season fix-up.

"If the squad doesn't change, I'm pretty confident we can move it forward but Kevin will be busy behind the scenes and, like every other club if we can strengthen our squad within the salary cap, then we'll look to do it."