Richard Agar breaks silence on why he rejected return to Leeds Rhinos

When Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar stepped down a number of months ago, it was thought that he would then come back in a backroom staff role.

Perhaps as a director of rugby, Agar was still contracted to Leeds, but has revealed that the original plan was never to stay as head coach as long as he did at Leeds.

“I took on the job for three weeks and ended up doing three years,” Agar told BBC Radio Leeds.

“Being a longer term head coach was never at the top of my list and I probably ended up doing longer than any of us ever anticipated when we got into it in the first place.

“Talks back then were that I was contracted to the club and would go on to do another job but I didn’t think that was right.

“I think coming out as I did as a head coach and being a head coach for a significant period of time too, I thought it was always going to be difficult in how that looked and felt for everyone.”

And, Agar has also revealed that the chance to go and coach Down Under was too good to turn down.

“We were talking along in the background with people here and there but when it came to it, the opportunity to work in the NRL was a much better way forward for me at this time.”

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.

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