Leeds Rhinos’ coach Richard Agar reckons his squad’s at the right age to grow together over next few years
COACH RICHARD Agar says the quality of Leeds Rhinos’ kids means recruitment over the next few seasons will be “bits rather than wholesale”.
Agar reckons they now have a “wonderful” crop of imports, recent additions have proved their worth and young players waiting in their wings could have a big say in the future.
Assessing the state of Rhinos’ squad, Agar insisted: “I am always being asked about who are we signing and have we got any quota spots and all that, but getting the right person is more important and if we have to wait for that we will do.
“Our recruitment will be bits rather than wholesale. You might get one or two in and out, but we’ve got a team that’s hopefully at the right age to grow together for the next two or three years.”
Centre Harry Newman has earned a place in the England performance squad with his performances so far in 2020 and Cameron Smith and Mikolaj Oledzki also impressed before Betfred Super League was suspended owing to coronavirus.
“Leeds have done well in their academy over the years,” Agar reflected. “Under both Brians [previous coaches Brian McLennan and Brian McDermott] and Tony [Smith] they always had a healthy contingent of young kids and some of them turned into world-class superstars.
“We felt the time was right and the kids were right to start giving them a crack. Cam and Harry and Mikolaj have done well and I look at Callum McLelland, Alex Sutcliffe and Tommy Holroyd and, at the moment, they have not played a lot of football, but it is very early in the season and we have got ultra confidence in them to come in and fill the gaps as and when and challenge for first team spots.”
Agar is also delighted with the way new additions to Rhinos’ overseas quota have settled in. He said: “Your overseas quota is really important when you are putting your roster together, your overseas players have got to give you value for money, whether they are a marquee signing or somebody you might have taken on as a bit of a punt or a project.
“I think we are in a wonderful spot with our overseas players at the moment and they are all terrific guys.”
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