Richard Agar has stepped down from his role as Wildcats head coach after two-and-a-half years in post.
Agar led the Wildcats in 75 games, making him the tenth longest serving Trinity coach in the club’s history by games coached. He guided the Wildcats to an improbable play-off spot in 2012 after a club Super League record winning run of seven successive matches having brought in 20 new players ahead of that campaign.
Whilst at the Wildcats he was appointed to the role of France head coach for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, taking them to a quarter-final appearance. The four wins he oversaw in the First Utility Super League in 2014 see him leave the club 12th in the table.
He will be succeeded in the role by James Webster who has been promoted from his position of assistant coach.
Wildcats Chairman, Michael Carter, commented: “I’d like to thank Richard for all he has done for this club. Reaching the play-offs in 2012 given where the club was when he arrived was a remarkable achievement and gave the fans some terrific memories.
“He faced a similar situation ahead of the coming campaign and put his hand up to once more assemble a squad on a very limited budget. He has put together a group of players which we are fully confident has the quality to achieve our main objective of survival in the First Utility Super League.
“Throughout all of the tribulations the club has endured during his tenure he has handled himself with superb dignity and worked tirelessly for the cause. We fully respect his decision to move on and all parties were in agreement that the timing was right for James Webster to take charge.
“In James we have a hungry young coach who knows what the club is about from his time here and obviously knows the squad of players he is inheriting. He has learnt from Richard during the past few years and has our complete support.
“We are sure that he will continue to do an excellent job for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, just as he has since he joined as assistant coach.
“I’m certain that all the fans will join me in getting behind James and the players for the remainder of the campaign as we strive to achieve our primary objective of remaining in Super League.”
“I spoke with the board of directors a number of weeks ago outlining the reasons why I had decided to look for another job within the game at the end of the season and therefore requested a release from the remaining two years of my contract,” explained Agar.
“All parties felt that with a new coach being decided upon and the club entering the recruitment period, it would be hard to continue in the role, especially with the players knowing I was going. It would also allow James to start putting into place his plans for next season.
“The club has recently faced some extremely difficult and uncertain times and hopefully will be in a position in the near future to provide stability and consolidate their position in the top flight and give James the resources he needs to be successful.
“I have been extremely honoured to coach this famous club and am grateful for the support of Michael Carter, Chris Brereton and Kath Hetherington during my time there.
“The club has a tremendous spirit about it and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Michael and Chris all the very best for their future ownership of the club.
“I’d like to thank the players and staff for their unwavering support, in particular James, who is an outstanding coach and I know he will make the most of this opportunity. Finally, thank-you to the fans who continue to stick by the team through good and bad. I wish the whole club every success for the future.”
34-year old Webster will take the top job having spent the entire of Agar’s tenure as his assistant, as well as fulfilling the same role for a period at Hull FC.
As a player he captained Hull KR to a Northern Rail Cup win and promotion to Super League as well as representing Widnes Vikings, Parramatta Eels and Hull FC.
“I would like to thank Michael and the board for giving me the opportunity to coach Wakefield Trinity, a club steeped in tradition,” he said.
“Everyone at the club knew this would be a difficult year with some hurdles to overcome but we’ve set some goals and if we are successful in reaching them then I believe the club will be in a much stronger position going forward.
“Rich has to be credited for rebuilding this team through some adverse times. I would personally like to thank him for the time he has invested in me and wish him all the best.”
Webster’s first game in charge will come when the Wildcats welcome London Broncos on Friday 13th June.
Tickets are on sale now priced at £10 adults, £6 concessions and kids for a quid when purchased in advance of matchday. Buy in the Ridings Centre Store, the Stadium Box Office or call 01924 201548/211611.