France appoint Agar as coach

Wakefield boss Richard Agar has been appointed as the new France coach on a part-time basis.

Lezignan's coach Aurelien Cologni has been in temporary charge of the national side but the French were keen to get a new man in to take charge for the World Cup.

Agar, who will continue to coach Wakefield, said: "To be able to take part in a World Cup as a coach is something everybody has an aspiration to do."

France will play Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Samoa in Group B of the World Cup, which starts on 26 October.

"I'm very proud and very honoured to be offered the position to be a head coach of a national team," said Agar.

"It was a little bit of a surprise. I got the phone call about a month ago and it was very kind of the club as both Andrew (Glover) and James (Elston) gave me their blessing to go and meet the French people to look at the levels of commitment and when I'd be required to be over there.

"I think it's a great opportunity and an opportunity I want to take and be very proud to take. I think it's a great time to be involved with them.

"I thought it was a super time with so many good players and the game as it is in France with the coaches that are currently working there, with the administrators that are involved and of course it's a World Cup year as well.

"To be able to take part in a World Cup as a coach is something everybody has an aspiration to do.

"I am genuinely excited and I'm really pleased that I'm the person to head up their organisation and I'm sure I can help them along the way and make an impact."

Wildcats Chief Executive James Elston said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for Richard to work with some top class players and test himself against some of the best coaches in the world later this year.

"He takes the role with our blessing and knowing how hard he works, I'm certain he'll make a success of taking the French side into a tournament that will be a tremendous showcase for the sport.

"It won't impact his work with the club and we see the opportunity for Richard to develop as a positive not only for him, but the extra experience he will bring back can only be of benefit to our players and coaching staff."