YEP Jury: Richard Agar deserves the chance to lead the Leeds Rhinos into next season

New Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar. Picture: Simon Hulme.
New Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar. Picture: Simon Hulme.
Have your say

Our fans’ panel have their say on Richard Agar’s appointment as Leeds Rhinos head coach and Friday’s defeat to Salford.


Jamie Jones-Buchanan celebrates scoring against Salford Red Devils last week.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan celebrates scoring against Salford Red Devils last week.

The better team won last Friday and, even though I thought we defended well for large periods, a few lapses in concentration at key moments showed there is still work to be done for next season.

The club confirmed Richard Agar has been given the coaching job for the next 12 months – a good decision in my opinion. Since Agar has been in charge we have improved defensively and we have secured our Super League safety.

I’m not saying Super League survival is what we should be striving for, but Agar was brought in to do a job, and he has done that. We need stability; I believe Agar has brought that and deserves the chance to continue to build on what he started this year.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan will captain the side for his final game of his career on Friday night, let’s hope for a good send-off! Carl Ablett also announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, which is a real shame. I’d like to thank both Jamie and Carl for some great memories and wish them the best of luck in their new challenges.

Stevie Ward's run is stopped by Salford's Josh Jones and Lee Mossop.

Stevie Ward's run is stopped by Salford's Josh Jones and Lee Mossop.


Well, the win in London was worth its weight in gold wasn’t it?

It was disappointing not to back it up at Headingley on Friday evening, but I guess Salford are fourth for a reason and good luck to them as they head into the play-offs in what for them is a rarity. Nonetheless, a great example of what Ian Watson has built for them in recent years.

All we can do now is try and finish the season with a win to provide a fitting farewell to Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett.

It won’t be easy against another team that will be competing in the play-offs, but we haven’t beaten any of the top teams this season yet, but a victory over the cup winners at the final attempt will show that we can still overcome these top teams.

It has been a long season and another one to forget but to end positively (unlike last year) should set us up well for 2020.

Elsewhere, there is an intriguing battle for survival that we are thankfully hovering safely above – might there be twists, turns and drama? I do hope and we shall see.


Salford Red Devils were very deserving winners last Friday night and for me Jackson Hastings is the Man of Steel for this season.

He showed once again why he has been the best player this season in Super League with his creativity in the first half which earned them the victory.

I was so pleased to see Jamie Jones-Buchanan dive over for a try in the second half.

I wish him and Carl Ablett the best in retirement.

They have both been fantastic players in the blue and amber.

I didn’t reckon much to the appointment of Richard Agar as caretaker head coach at the time, however he deserves to have a go for next season and the club have gi him a very sensible contract.

Congratulations to Ash Handley who is very deserving of getting the player of the season award.

It would be good to see his season end with a trip down under for the Lions tour.

I hope we end the season on a high note and put in a good performance against Warrington Wolves.


Thankfully we go into the final week of the season without the worry of relegation.

Time to focus on next year and getting ourselves completing at the right end of the table!

With Richard Agar being confirmed as head coach it allows him time to plan for next season with new recruits. How many players will be leaving? We need a decent overhaul of the squad especially with some not featuring all year through injury or non-selection.

The Salford game showed we need home-grown players in the team fighting for a shirt each week.

Look at how Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Stevie Ward respect the honour of playing for Leeds still!

We were light in the pack again with only two recognised props in the team and it showed. Where were Brad Singleton or Nathaniel Peteru?

We battled hard against a top-four team and a referee who seemed genuinely clueless at times.

Salford have improved but rely on Jackson Hastings too much and will struggle without him. Just a note on the idiot with the flare, go back to watching football!


Richard Agar himself pretty much let it slip whilst a guest on Sky TV on Thursday night and it was duly announced on Monday that he would be our head coach from 2020.

The decision has been met, perhaps not unexpectedly, with quite a lot of criticism from supporters. In my opinion, Rich deserves his chance for next season.

He was brought in with one job in mind, to prevent us being relegated and he has done that (if only just).

He has won half of his 14 games in charge, not a bad record.

He knows the players, they have spoken highly of him and if we are honest, their opinion counts for more than us as fans.

They have seemed as if they want to play for him and that is important.

Friday’s result was disappointing, you felt it was a real chance to play some pressure free rugby but credit should go to Salford.

It would be nice to finish the season with a win against Warrington Wolves, but you feel the focus has already shifted to next season and preparations for it.