Rhinos pair in Wolfpack limbo

Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar says the club has not ruled anything out on Toronto-bound pair Richie Myler and Stevie Ward if the Wolfpack don’t make it to the 2021 start line.

The duo are both understand to have signed terms with the Canadian club, though their signings have not been formally announced.

But if Toronto aren’t part of Super League next year, Agar has not closed the door on their possible returns.

The Leeds boss explained: “It’s fair to say that we operate in an environment that’s very open and honest with each other.

“We work on the premise of ‘don’t surprise us and we won’t surprise you’, and everything is out in the open.

“I understand that there’d be a fair amount of concern from the guys that have been strongly linked to Toronto.

“From our point of view we said right from the outset that because of the impact of Covid, we wanted to make sure our existing guys were alright first.

“We haven’t gone out into the market looking to bring players in, and it was imperative from a trust and honesty point of view that we dealt with our own guys first, which we’ve done.

“We’re not too panicky about making signings just yet. I’m comfortable with the squad we’ve got and if we have room for one, two or three players and there’s an opportunity to go into the market then we will.

“We’ve left our options open while we worked through our own squad.

“Does that include the guys going to Toronto?

“It depends on them and if they’ve got a team to go to next year.

“The circumstances could evolve again and I wouldn’t rule anything out or rule anything in.

“For us it’s about not making knee-jerk reactions to decisions at other clubs.”

Asked what his own take was on the Wolfpack’s current situation, Agar added: “That’s a difficult one for me to answer, because I’m a peripheral observer.

“I’ve not spoken to anyone there and am not familiar with the ins and outs, so it’s dangerous for me to comment when I’m not fully aware of all the facts.

“Like everyone else in the game I’ve heard for a fair amount of time rumblings about players and late payments.

“Some of the stuff that’s happened hasn’t been a surprise, given what you hear in the game, but I’m not privy to too much at Toronto.

“The timing of it at best is difficult for the game and there are a lot more questions than answers.

“Yes, we’ve had our two points taken away, but they’d not won a game, so it’s pretty much the same and we’ll get on with it.”

Agar does expect squads in Super League to be significantly tested as the schedule becomes busier towards the end of the revamped season, which will see young players handed opportunities.

And he says one forward in particular is raring to go at the Rhinos.

“We’re really confident that most of the guys in our squad are ready to play first grade this year.

“We’ve got some obvious ones here – Harry Newman is a tremendous player and athlete, and Cameron Smith as well.

“But if you’re talking about guys outside of the 17 that have predominantly featured up to now, then Tom Holroyd is a player the whole squad is excited to see.

“He’s a young, aggressive good size of a kid with good footwork and leg speed.

“If you’ve seen the Australian Schoolboys and England Academy series a couple of years ago, he absolutely took it to the Aussies, and a number of those have now poked through into NRL first grade.

“Tom absolutely smashed them up in the couple of games I saw, and he’s a player that’s hovering around the 17 and who will probably feature very early on in the campaign.”