Agar anticipates few changes in 2021

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar has admitted there are likely to be minimal changes to his squad for the 2021 season due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The club has yet to pursue any new signings and is keeping retention on hold as they wait to discover the extent of the impact Covid-19 will have on their business.

Agar, who celebrated a year as head coach last week, said the club has identified areas in which they would like to strengthen their squad, and even individual targets, if finances allow.

But with so much uncertainty still lingering, he insists that the pursuit of new players is a discussion for a later date.

“We’ve got some loose plans for a few holes in our squad,” he said.

“But the general thought process is coming out of this situation. We’re really happy with the squad we’ve got. We’ve got a few guys out of contract and normally we’d have been making decisions and offering new contracts, but from our point of view there’s not a great deal happening there.

“We’re in constant dialogue about the situation, but we’re also mindful of coming out of Covid.

“It’s probably fair to say we’re not looking at wholesale changes. While we have a few targets in mind, we’ve just got to see where we are as a business. Is our budget going to be the same, will the cap be the same? There’s so much unknown. Sure, we’ve got some plans and if we come out intact, we know which players we’d like to target, but that’s as far as it goes, I think it would be irresponsible of us, especially offering bigger contracts, at this stage.”

He continued: “We’ve got a duty of care to our blokes out of contract and we’d like to take care of that stuff first, but currently it’s too hard.

“Touch wood, everything comes through as unscathed as possible. But if the nature of it is that if we don’t think we’re able to move for an off-contract player and another club does, we can’t jeopardise the future of the club to make it happen.”