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“Genuinely impossible to field a team this weekend”, says Richard Agar in wake of positive COVID cases

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar could not have been more disappointed at his side having to postpone their fixture against St Helens on Friday night due to positive COVID cases at the club.

“I’m completely deflated, as a sport we went through what we had to last year,” Agar said.

“I don’t think many clubs had it as bad as we did last year with people off; obviously we made the cup final and the fixture congestion we had was bad and I just think as a sport we had got through all that.

“Clearly the new wave seems to be on its way and that’s the real concern for us as a club.

“We’ve had guys contract covid but those guys that have stood down because of track and trace protocols have tested positive in the last 24/48 hours.

“It shows the track and trace has worked, but it’s a long time until Friday and we’re in a position now where the next 24/48 hours could throw up more positive cases.

“Unfortunately, the protocols around six players we have had to stand down due to track and trace have all had covid so the likelihood of them getting infected is not high, but at the same time, rules are rules and we’ve got to follow protocols.

Agar could not have been more gutted about the thought of missing a big home game.

“It would have been a beautiful night, home game and you’re kicking fixtures down the road in June and July and the concern for me as a coach is I’m losing a shedload of players over the next ten days.

“We were getting some momentum, getting players back and looking at the congestion we could well face down the track, it’s incredibly frustrating, disappointing and worrying moving forward.”

The Leeds boss was also confused as to where his players could have contracted the virus from.

“No one’s been abroad, a couple are out of the same area with our initial first close contact being Kruise Leeming and then Morgan Gannon is another guy that lives out that way – how on earth we they’ve picked it up we don’t know.

“It would be genuinely impossible to field a team this weekend as our academy players that could play are already in the team!”

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