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Live Leeds Rhinos v Catalans Dragons: Nightmare start for Richard Agar’s side

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Agar says it will be the first match he has missed in his 18 seasons as a coach but believes the team will be in capable hands after fast-tracking the appointment of Sean Long to work alongside assistant coach James Webster.

He also says he would rather be affected by the virus than one of his players, pointing to Dan Sarginson’s absence from the Challenge Cup final at Wembley after he contracted Covid-19.

“I’ve rarely missed training, even through the birth of children or illness, in 18 or 19 seasons and I don’t think I’ve ever missed a game,” he said.

“But if ever there was a year it was going to happen, I guess it’s this year.

“There are no real dramas. I would rather me and Jonesy be down than a player. I go back to Dan Sarginson at Wembley and how difficult it would have been for him to miss the game for Covid reasons.

“I can still have my input, a player can’t have an input unless he’s out there on the field.”

Agar has compiled a game plan in advance and will have an open phone line to the club’s director of rugby Kevin Sinfield during the game at Warrington but is happy to leave the decision-making to Webster and Long.

“I don’t want to be like a parrot on their shoulders, throwing messages every two minutes,” he said. “That’s not my style and it would only distract them.

“So I’ll have an open phone line with Kevin and, if we feel there is anything they need to ask or if we need to chip in, we’re there ready and waiting.”

Read more at www.leeds-live.co.uk

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