Leeds Rhinos coach on Myler injury, Austin debut & outstanding Martin

Drew Darbyshire
Richard Agar Leeds

Leeds Rhinos coach Richard Agar said he was proud of Rhyse Martin after his brave decision to play following the death of his father last week.

Goal-kicker Martin decided to play in the Rhinos’ opening game of the Super League season last Saturday just days after the passing of his father.

The Papua New Guinea international has been allowed to return home to Australia on compassionate leave.

Agar said: “I think you can all imagine the shock and trauma and sheer upset of losing a parent.

“He is in this country, his partner and little fella are back in Australia. He did get to meet his pop before he passed away which I know Rhyse is eternally grateful that he has got some pictures of his little man with his father before he passed away.

“It was an extremely emotional place for Rhyse to be in before the game. We gave him the option of training or not training. It was very difficult for him to train on Wednesday. He tried to train in the morning and he was fairly overcome and then gone out and trained really well in the afternoon.

“I thought his performance was outstanding in the circumstances. The boys voted him the player of the match upon getting in the sheds afterwards where we addressed the team. He was fairly overcome and the boys got around him. I feel that is something down the line he will appreciate the strength and support he got from his team-mates and the club.

“We are right behind him and we’ll support him all the way. He’ll do what he’s got to do over there then he’ll get back and have a good season in front of him.”

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Leeds utility Richie Myler left the action early in their 22-20 defeat to Warrington at Headingley with a groin injury.

Agar revealed that Myler is set for surgery and a spell on the sidelines.

He said: “Richie is down in London seeing a specialist at this moment in time. It is likely that he’ll have surgery.

“The time of that we are waiting on when he has surgery at this moment. We will wait and see.

“He’ll probably miss a couple of weeks but just how long? We aren’t sure yet.”

Off-season arrival Blake Austin has served his one-match suspension. He will make his debut for the Rhinos in Friday night’s trip to Wigan.

Agar said: “He has done plenty of training with us so to get him pulled for round one was a difficult one.

“We want to encourage Blake to bring the best parts and qualities of his game. We want him to bring his kicking game, a good alternate to Aidan (Sezer).

“When he starts to run with the ball that as an opposition defence that it can get quite scary at times. It is important that our forwards lay the platform for our halves.”

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