Leeds Rhinos recruitment update: Richard Agar confirms talks ongoing with Huddersfield Giants' Aidan Sezer but other options also being considered
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Rhinos are scouring both the NRL and Betfred Super League for a play-maker to replace stand-off Rob Lui who will leave the club at the end of this season.
Sezer, who played for Canberra Raiders in the 2019 Australian Grand Final and was a Man of Steel nominee last year, is in the final months of his Giants contract and now free to talk to rival clubs.
Rhinos have already signed St Helens forward James Bentley on a two-year deal beginning next season and Agar said they are “working through” other recruitment, with progress expected to be made inside the next fortnight.
Of Sezer, he stated: “It’s not a secret we have had some discussions with Aidan.”
And he insisted: “We have not finalised any deals just yet, but we have had discussions with a number of players.
“The half-back market is generally a difficult one and we have got some guys already in the club who can cover those positions.
“Clearly Rob Lui is not going to be with us next year so we have got some space, we have some room on the salary cap, but we have options too.
“Aidan is a guy we’ve chatted to, we would love him on our roster, but at the same time, if we can’t work a deal out in that direction, we are really confident we can get a good player or two coming into our club in and around the spine positions, be that a guy who can play in the halves or someone who can play multiple positions.
“We are confident we can improve our team in the market and we’ll see how it unravels.
“These things are never done until they are done, but we’re not panicking that we’re not going to be able to land a good option.”
Agar has been working on recruitment alongside Kevin Sinfield and will take more responsibility for that when Rhinos’ director of rugby leaves the club at the end of this season.
“It is never easy to get things done and over the line,” Agar added.
“We are working through it and hopefully over the next seven-10 days we can get somewhere with it.
“We feel we know what we want and we know the positions we want to recruit.
“We have got some players off contract, it is important to stress that too.
“Continuity and stability is important and we are leaving the door open for those guys to work themselves into new deals, definitely.
“We have got enough natural space in our cap to bring in some guys we think can enhance what we are doing as well.”
But Agar stressed: “We do see guys like Morgan Gannon, Harry Newman, Josh Walters, Jarrod O’Connor and Tom Holroyd as being the cornerstone of our team for years to come.”
Meanwhile, Agar is confident pack leader Matt Prior will stay on at Rhinos next year.
Prior’s initial two-year deal ends in November, but he has been offered a 12-month extension.
The 34-year-old will play his fifth game in 15 days when Catalans Dragons visit Emerald Headingley tonight, having also featured for Combined Nations All Stars against England and Agar said: “I think Matt has a desire to stay and obviously we’ve got a desire to keep him.
“It is not one of those we are panicking [about] or putting too many deadlines on.
“We’ve had four games in 11 days and that sort of slows other stuff up a touch behind the scenes, but we are working through it with him and his agent.
“Fingers crossed we can get something sorted.”
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