Experienced Super League coach Richard Agar has found a surprise new club.
Agar, who stepped down as Leeds Rhinos boss earlier in the year, has joined the New Zealand Warriors as assistant coach on a two-year deal, starting from 2023.
The 50-year-old Agar’s coaching résumé includes coaching roles with Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos while he is a current assistant coach with Toa Samoa.
“Richard has tremendous experience in top level coaching and will add huge value to our coaching team,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“He’ll provide terrific support for our new head coach Andrew Webster in his role alongside his fellow assistant coaches Stacey Jones and Justin Morgan.”
After starting his coaching career with the York City Knights, Agar stepped up to the Super League where he became boss of Hull FC from 2008 to 2011 and Wakefield Trinity from 2012 to 2014.
He was with the Warrington Wolves from 2014-2017 as an assistant coach to Tony Smith, helping them to the Challenge Cup Final and Super League Grand Final in 2016, before becoming head coach with the Rhinos from 2019 until early this season. In 2020 he led Leeds to victory over Salford in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Agar has also previously coached France, taking the side to the quarter-finals in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Along with Webster, he joined Toa Samoa’s coaching staff this year.
His most recent job saw him as head coach of West Yorkshire side Leeds.
Appointed to steady the ship following the sacking of Dave Furner midway through 2019, Agar did just that, helping to stem off relegation and even guiding the Rhinos to Challenge Cup success in 2020.
2021 saw Leeds qualify for the Super League play-offs despite a horrendous injury list at the start of the season before the West Yorkshire club ran out of steam against St Helens in the semi-finals.
The optimism going into 2022 was huge, with the signings of Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, James Bentley and David Fusitu’a expected to put bums on seats.
Unfortunately for Agar, a run of defeats led to him mutually agreeing with chief executive Gary Hetherington that he could take Leeds no further and he has since been without a role.