Agar rejects England advances in favour of Hull

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The Independent Online

Richard Agar has agreed a new, two-year contract as coach of Hull, effectively ruling himself out of contention for the England job.

Agar is one of the candidates interviewed for the vacant national role, but has opted instead to extend his deal with his club.

"It was an easy decision to make and I am pleased that the club have shown the confidence in me to succeed at Hull FC," said Agar, who joined the club in 2005 and took over as head coach nearly two years ago. "Time is something that many coaches don't get and I am delighted I have been shown that time and now it is up to us as the coaching staff to repay that faith and ultimately the way to do that is to win some silverware."

Agar's first duty after making that decision is to take his side to Hull KR for this afternoon's Humberside derby. That side shows two changes, with Richard Horne and Peter Cusack returning in place of Reece Lyne and Sam Moa. Apart from broken jaw victim, Liam Colbon, Rovers have doubts over their England backs, Shaun Briscoe and Peter Fox.

Wakefield have Ben Jeffries back for tonight's match against Castleford and Paul King, a winter signing from Hull, could play for the first time since February. Cas have Craig Huby and Michael Wainwright back, but James Evans is still missing.

Oldham hope to play at their new ground, the White Bank Stadium, home of Oldham Boro FC, for the first time on 9 May against York.

Over at Huddersfield, the teenage prop Adam Walker is set to celebrate a new contract by making his Super League debut for the Giants over Easter. The 19-year-old yesterday signed a two-year deal to stay at the Galpharm Stadium at least until the end of the 2012 season and has been named in coach Nathan Brown's initial 19-man squad for tonight's visit of Catalan Dragons, who will be without Chris Walker, suspended for two matches for the tackle on Colbon. Huddersfield could also give a first start to Danny Brough.

"Adam is steadily developing and he has improved in some important areas this year," said Brown. "He is a player who has a bright future and over the Easter period he will make his debut."

Walker said: "I'm delighted to have signed a new two-year contract with the Giants. I had no hesitation in doing so and everyone can see that it is definitely a club that is going places.

"I'm delighted to have made the 19-man squad again and hope that I can push on, keep working hard and make my Giants debut." Huddersfield play Salford at The Willows on Easter Monday.

Wakefield have signed 20-year-old utility back Kieran Hyde as part of the deal which took the teenage half-back Cain Southernwood to Super League rivals Bradford. Hyde, who was on the Wakefield scholarship scheme before joining the Bulls four years ago, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Wildcats.

Southernwood, who like Hyde has yet to make his Super League debut, has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Bulls.

The coach of Wakefield, John Kear, said: "Kieran is a very talented player who has real pace and in the longer term we see him as a full-back. Cain, too, is a player with great ability but we're well blessed with players in his position here at the Wildcats so his first-team prospects were strictly limited."

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