Jones-Buchanan will work alongside Sean Long, who was Agar’s other assistant and performance director Richard Hunwicks, but chief executive Gary Hetherington says Rhinos will appoint a new head coach. There will be no shortage of applicants, but here are five possible contenders for one of the biggest jobs in the sport:
1: Jamie Jones-Buchanan: A seven-time Grand Final winner as a player, Jones-Buchanan joined the coaching staff after hanging up his boots at the end of 2019. A famed motivator, his inexperience may count against him, but he now has an opportunity to stake a claim.
2: Sean Long: The former St Helens and Great Britain star has vast experience as an assistant and made it clear he would like his own team one day, though Leeds will probably want someone who has been a head coach in the past.
3: Ryan Carr: The 33-year-old Australian was assistant to Agar in 2019 when he was also in charge of Featherstone Rovers. Taking over when they were at a low ebb, he guided Rovers to the Championship Grand Final before taking an assistant’s job in the NRL and is rated highly by Leeds.
4: James Webster: Not currently working in rugby league, Webster was Agar’s assistant in 2020 when Leeds won the Challenge Cup. He was in charge of Featherstone last year, when they finished second in the Championship and reached the Grand Final.
5: Tony Smith/Danny McGuire: Smith, who coached Leeds to the Super League title in 2004 and 2007 and the 2005 World Club Championship, is now in charge of Hull KR with McGuire, one of Rhinos’ greatest players, as his assistant. They would be a dream combination for many fans, but Rhinos would have to prise them away from Hull KR where they have done an outstanding job rebuilding the club’s fortunes.
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