Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield appointed Richard Agar as the club’s permanent head coach for 2020 on a rolling 12-month contract having said he proved himself as the “right man for the job.”
As expected, the ex-Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC chief was confirmed in the role this morning.
Agar took charge of the side in mid-season on an interim basis following the sacking of Dave Furner and has guided the team away from danger of relegation.
Sinfield said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm Richard as our new Head Coach.
“The manner in which he has conducted himself this season, during very challenging circumstances, has shown us that he is the right man for the job.
“We are fortunate to be able to call upon one of the most experienced coaches in the game and importantly someone who knows our players and understands the potential for this group of young men.
“I think it’s important to say that through working closely with him, and observing his work and speaking to all players and staff it is abundantly clear what an outstanding coach Richard is.
“He is a hands-on coach who gains a great deal of satisfaction from seeing his players improve and reach their potential.
“Importantly, he is a British coach who knows our competition.
“I have enjoyed working with him this season, despite the tough position we have found ourselves in and I looked forward to seeing him put his stamp on this squad during pre-season and next year.”
Featherstone-born Agar, 47, has also coached France and started out his coaching career with York in 2004.
He was on Tony Smith’s coaching staff at Warrington Wolves before spending a year with St George-Illawarra in the NRL.
He initially joined Leeds last December in a newly-created role to head up the player development department at the club with a focus on its academy production line before stepping up to the first-team initially under Furner.
Leeds have won seven of 14 Super League games since he took charge and he said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this group of players and helping them turn the corner this season.
“This is an outstanding club, both on and off the field, and it is our responsibility over the coming years to once again challenge for honours over a sustained period.
“It was important for me when I took charge during the season that I was able to effect change on the squad. This group have struggled over the past few years and there was no point in me becoming Head Coach unless I could have a positive impact.
“However, having worked with the group and seen the potential particular of our young players in the first team and academy squads, I believe we are set for some exciting times in the future and I will be honoured to play my part in this.”