Leeds Rhinos fully focused on Wembley business says coach Richard Agar

AS sad as it will be with no fans in Wembley for Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup final, Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar admits it has allowed his squad to adopt an “all business” approach to the showpiece fixture.

Taking care of business: Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar.

Due to Covid-19, they face Salford Red Devils behind closed doors when, ordinarily, there would be around 70,000 spectators cheering them on in one of the sport’s biggest days out.

Agar accepts that is immensely disappointing for all involved, including supporters, players and staff alike.

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But he added: “It’s going to be a special occasion regardless, given what the whole sport and country has gone through to get the showpiece final on.

“If you go back to April/May there was some doubt we’d get back on the field so to be able to play in such a magnificent stadium and prestigious game is a real honour and privilege for us.

“Of course it’s disappointing for those who have not experienced it before that they don’t get to walk out in front of such a massive crowd and their families don’t get to see it.

“I’m lucky enough to have experienced these occasions before and I’ll never take it for granted. But for me, the fact we’re not having to worry about hotel rooms, or buying the missus a new dress, or not having to worry about tickets for friends and family, it means it’s going to be all business for us.

“While we are missing out on the crowd, there is an element for me that it’s just enabled us to completely maintain our focus on what’s important – and not have what is usually quite a lot of external distractions.”

Freee to play: Young Leeds Rhinos forward Tom Holroyd. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Pleasingly, both finalists saw players avoid potential bans yesterday with Leeds prop Tom Holroyd only cautioned by the match review panel for a dangerous tackle and Salford full-back Dan Sarginson charged with a Grade A dangerous contact but receiving a zero match penalty notice.

Rhinos also say stand-off Robert Lui is in full training and Salford hope Tyrone McCarthy is recovering from illness.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson