FORMER Warrington Wolves assistant coach Richard Agar has been named as interim head coach of Leeds Rhinos.

The news comes after the Headingley club announced they had parted company with head coach David Furner.

Furner is just six months into a three-year contract after succeeding Brian McDermott at the start of the season but the 2017 Super League champions are currently third from bottom of the table with just four wins from their opening 14 games.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: "This was a very difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly."

The shock move comes ahead of the Rhinos' Coral Challenge Cup sixth round tie against Bradford and assistant coach Richard Agar will take charge on an interim basis.

Leeds say Sinfield and chief executive Gary Hetherington met with Furner over the weekend following a 28-16 defeat by Salford.

Sinfield added: "David was an outstanding candidate to be our head coach and was my first choice for the job.

"Unfortunately, we have not started the season as we had all hoped and action was needed to move in a fresh direction with this group of players this season.

"I would like to thank David for his commitment to the club especially the sacrifices he made to travel from his home in Australia to take up our challenge."

Leeds, who brought Agar back from a spell in the NRL at the end of last season, say there will be no rush to make a permanent appointment.

Hetherington said: "This season has been really disappointing so far with team performances well below what we expected.

"When Kevin returned to the club last summer his primary focus was to restore the team to challenge for honours and he has the full support of our board to do this."