Former Wakefield coach Richard Agar told Boots 'n' All why he left the club

Last Updated: 05/06/14 9:18am

Richard Agar speaks to Boots 'N' All after quitting as coach of the Wakefield Wildcats.

The dust had barely settled on Bradford's victory over Wakefield when news broke that Richard Agar had quit as coach of the Wildcats.

It brought to an end his two-and-a-half year spell at the club and even though he was set to end his time in charge at the end of the season, it was deemed best to bring the decision forward.

Agar, who will be replaced by assistant James Webster with immediate effect, spoke exclusively to Boots 'n' All about his decision and working under financial constraints.

"I've been thinking about it for a number of weeks and I'd spoken to the owners of the club and Kath Hetherington the chief executive," said Agar, who guided France to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2013. "I think you've got a time in a job and I felt that the club's been through a very, very difficult time.

"The team, at the end of the year would need rebuilding again and I felt that coming up to recruitment time I wasn't sure whether I wanted to look for a new challenge at the end of the year, but I was pretty certain that I did want to do that.

"I think for two years we've played a really good style of rugby and really attractive rugby and we've done it on a very limited budget."

Richard Agar

"There's only so many times you can knock the team down and rebuild it. I felt a strong desire that I just wanted to compete a little bit more and I think the club have found it really difficult to compete and try and get in the top eight of Super League.

"That's certainly no fault of the people that are running the club now - they've been very well documented about, the measures that we had to take to stay alive but I just felt three years would be enough."


New man Webster's first task at Odsal is against winless London Broncos on Friday.

But Wakefield are just six points ahead of Bradford, who could have that points deficit wiped if their appeal against their points deduction is successful. 

Wildcats were rescued from administration in 2011 and faced public financial issues last season when main sponsor Eric France went bust, but Agar insists he still enjoyed his tenure with the club.

He added: "It's two of most enjoyable years I've ever had in the sport.

"The challenges we faced in the first year and coming together and making the play-offs but I think for two years we've played a really good style of rugby and really attractive rugby and we've done it on a very limited budget. 

"We've got the best out of the hell of a lot of players; a lot of them have gone on to bigger moves and better contracts within the game. Some of the transfer fees we recouped for a lot of these players kept the club afloat at times last year.


"There were some crucial times at the end of last season where the club were facing extinction and to be able to polish a few of those rough diamonds and get the transfer fees in for them; I feel we really played our part in what was a really crucial stage in the club's history."

Former London Broncos coach Tony Rea joined the Boots 'n' All panel and understands Agar's desire to move on.

Rea said: "I think Richard's made a call there that is about his future and investing in himself in the future. He's said clearly that he's tired of rebuilding. He's probably suggesting that the players were detecting that he was tired of this.

"There's an underlying message to the Wakefield club to say look, 'pick yourself up and be bigger than this'. I think he's saying he thinks they can be bigger than that and that the new regime that's in there and James Webster when they take over, can pick it up.

"This is his cry to help and say 'don't do that anymore'."