Everything Jamie Jones-Buchanan said in first press conference as Leeds interim-boss

Josh McAllister
Jamie Jones-Buchanan of Leeds

Leeds Rhinos hosted their first press conference with interim-head coach Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Jones-Buchanan, 40, takes the role following the resignation of Richard Agar.

His first contest as Leeds head coach comes in the Challenge Cup as Leeds host Castleford on Saturday in the sixth round.

Here’s what the former player had to say during his first press conference.

Squad reaction to Richard Agar’s resignation

Richard Agar Leeds Rhinos

“I imagine, I’m not inside their minds, but there will be a fair bit of disappointment. For others, there might be a sense of new opportunity. The dynamic of any team is that we’re all reflections quite often of our coach and desires. Some of the lads have got ideas about who and what they want to be. That’s obviously reflective of what a coaching staff want from you and what opportunities you get. You’d have to ask them individually. But collectively, it was a really heavy day Monday. It was difficult for all of us to take. I bleed blue and amber through and through, I love Leeds and the last thing I ever want to see is players and staff leaving and certainly a head coach. It’s always disappointing early on in the season. I’d be first to recognise that every coach wants to leave the club in a better place than they came and Richard did that without a doubt. They were fighting relegation when he came and a side that got beat at Bradford in the Challenge Cup when they were a division below. There was so much that we needed to fix up and he has done. What we’re left with now is not only a fantastic staffing structure within the rugby department, a great facility and we finished with a Challenge Cup a few years ago. Lots of really happy memories and lots of things to be positive about.”

Jamie Jones-Buchanan on permanent role

Jamie Jones-Buchanan Leeds

“I’ll hold the baby until it becomes apparent whether or not I’m the best person to hold it. I’ve said before, this is never about me. This isn’t me fulfilling any lifelong goal or ambition. I find myself here through circumstance. Again, I’ve always recognised the power of opportunity. In many ways, I could look at this and say it’s the best job in the world outside of playing because I’m steering my boyhood club, but it’s not about me. If and when the management finds someone who’s better suited than me, I’ll doff their pillow, make them a cup of tea and carry their bags and make them feel welcome.”

Richard Agar: I’m walking out on the best job at the best club

Challenge Cup

Challenge Cup at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Photo: Michael Zemanek / SWpix

“There’s always a massive priority to be successful at Rhinos without a doubt. It’s a massive expectation. It provides opportunity, it provides revivals and a distraction from what the league form looks like. If there’s ever a time where we wanted a different focus, it would be in the Challenge Cup. We’re really excited. It’s about us. The external bit is outside the bubble. We need to focus on ourselves and be in the best possible frame of mind to compete for it.”


Leeds Richard Agar

“We just want it to be better than what it’s been. We find ourselves as the lowest scoring team in Super League at the minute. When you look at the squad and the DNA of the club, that’s never where we want to be. We want to play a really exciting brand of rugby and we want to play with a bit of fluidity. I think sometimes that can be a reflection of the spirit of the team and how happy players are playing.”

Rhinos: Danny McGuire tipped to take over at Leeds Rhinos

David Fusitu’a possible return

David Fusitu'a Leeds

“He’s one that I’ve got to have a chat with today. It’s interesting in this day and age, player welfare is really important and what we want is a really fit and healthy David F. There’s a lot of season left to be played. He’s blown my mind in the off-season with his skill and ability. He’s got the potential to light up Super League and the Challenge Cup. I really hope so for our sake and the game’s sake that he’s available but I’ll be leaving that to the physios to let us know what’s best for him and make sure he’s in the best frame of mind mentally and physically.”

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