Leeds Rhinos: Five things head coach Richard Agar may have learned from 2021 Super League season
COACH RICHARD Agar admits “this hasn’t been a normal season” for Leeds Rhinos.
Strange it may have been, but uneventful, it definitely was not. Here are five things for Agar to ponder during the off- and pre-season.
1 Three into two doesn’t go: Rhinos have signed half-backs Aidan Sezer from Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves’ Blake Austin to add to their options in the pivotal roles. Luke Gale remains at the club and the plan at this stage is for him to play scrum-half, alongside stand-off Sezer. So where does that leave Austin? He is likely to be effectively Rhinos’ number 14, fitting into a variety of roles, including potentially full-back, centre, second-row or loose-forward.
2 Recruitment: A big ‘middle’ must be the priority, particularly following King Vuniyayawa’s departure. Leeds’ pack next year, at full-strength, will be one of Super League’s best, but needs a bit more depth. A fast, powerful winger would also be a welcome addition.
3 Hookers: Number nine has been a problem position for Leeds, on and off, for the best part of a decade. Kruise Leeming has had an outstanding year, backed up by Brad Dwyer who is Rhinos’ super sub. Now back at the club, 20-year-old Corey Johnson is also in the mix for next year, giving Agar an embarrassment of riches in a key role.
4 Home form: The problem with having the game’s best stadium is everyone enjoys playing there. Leeds won only six of their 11 matches at Emerald Headingley in 2021, which isn’t good enough.
5 Full-back: Official No 1 Jack Walker could make his long-awaited return on Boxing Day, but Richie Myler will be difficult to displace and is too good not to be in Leeds’ 13. That’s another positive problem to solve.