Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar charged over press conference comments

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Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar has revealed he was charged by the RFL following comments he made in a press conference last month.

Agar had been asked about Alex Mellor’s failed appeal against a one-match suspension for making physical contact with referee Robert Hicks during Rhinos’ win at Salford Red Devils which - along with Bodene Thompson and Luke Gale - kept him out of the visit of Leigh Centurions.

In reply, the Leeds boss insisted there had been a “fair hearing”, but pointed out two members of the panel which heard the appeal were former Leigh players.

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Thompson was this week banned for three games for a dangerous throw in last Friday’s loss to Catalans Dragons and Rhyse Martin will sit out this evening’s rematch on a one-game suspension, for dangerous contact.

Rhinos coach Richard Agar. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Rhinos coach Richard Agar. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Rhinos coach Richard Agar. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Asked about the latest bans in his pre-match media briefing, Agar said his “honest and factual” replies to similar questions in the past had led to him being charged.

Asked what that related to, Agar added: “The fact I replied to a question about the makeup of the panel and two ex-Leigh players being on it. I stated a fact and stated I thought we had a fair hearing. I am not sure I could be any more honest than that.”

The sport’s disciplinary process has been in the spotlight after Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter hit out over bans handed to Joe Arundel and Ryan Hampshire, as well as opponent Sione Mata’utia, following Trinity’s loss to St Helens last week.

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Agar said: “I get some of Michael’s frustrations around that and there’s a number of frustrations about quite a number of things in the game at the moment.

“Maybe we can have a look at the big picture as a whole moving forward.”

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