Leeds Rhinos' head coach Richard Agar steps down

Agar won the Challenge Cup with Leeds in 2020, but his side have struggled this season. Credit: PA

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar has stepped down from his role with immediate effect, the club has announced.

Agar, who took over in 2019, said in a statement that he was not having the necessary "impact on the squad".

Rhinos have won just one game this season and sit third from bottom of Super League.

Assistant coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan will take charge of the first team on an interim basis.

The Rhinos said that Agar will continue to have a role at the club.

Commenting on the decision, Agar said: "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 so on the basis that I could help take the team forward.

"I agreed a six-month rolling contract and I was happy to continue whilst ever we were making progress. However, I don’t feel like I am having the impact I would hope to on the squad.

“I am proud of our record over the last three years. The club was in a tough position when I took over, we battled against relegation before facing the unprecedented challenges of Covid and an injury-ravaged squad last season.

"On the field, we won the Challenge Cup at Wembley, reached the play offs in the last two seasons and saw the emergence of a number of highly promising young players. I really believe we have a strong squad who have the potential to achieve this year."

Leeds were beaten 26-12 by Salford on Friday night. Credit: PA

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington added: "On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank Richard for his outstanding effort.

"We started the season with what we believed was a very strong squad with an outstanding crop of talented young players, but we have simply not converted that into team performances.

"We do plan to appoint a new head coach and will apply a comprehensive recruitment process but there is no pre-determined timescale for this appointment."