Rugby League - Agar ready to slay Dragons

Richard Agar might have donned his beret in Perpignan a week ago in his role as French national coach but he will be firmly wearing his Wakefield hat when the Wildcats take on Catalan Dragons at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Saturday.

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Rugby League - Agar ready to slay Dragons
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Richard Agar is combining his full-time job at Wakefield with a part-time role with France

Agar, who is combining his full-time job at Wakefield with a part-time role with the French, made a flying visit to the south of France last Saturday to check out training venues ahead of the 2013 World Cup.

He also took in the Dragons' Super League home game against Huddersfield to cast his eye over the bulk of the squad he will call on for the World Cup, although he admits it was a double-edged mission. "I try to catch most of their games nearly every week, with one eye on what's going to happen at the end of the year," Agar said.

"But I'm sat on the other side of the fence this week. As much I'm looking at the people sticking their hands up by showing their strengths, I'm trying to pick out one or two little weaknesses as well."

One player putting his hand up for the national team is exciting full-back Morgan Escare, who has seized the opportunity presented to him by injury to Brent Webb by producing a series of eye-catching performances for the Dragons over the last two months.

"I know they've got one or two injury problems but I think the positives they'll take out of that is the emergence and the form at the moment of one or two the younger French players," Agar said. "Some of the less heralded players are playing particularly well for them."

Agar is hoping the game can ignite his side's play-off ambitions. They are currently languishing in 10th place, with just four wins and a draw from their first 12 matches, but that is an improvement on their start to last season, when the Wildcats went on a surge in the second half of the year to reach the play-offs.

"We're a bit ahead of where we were last year," Agar said.

"We can't go banking on getting seven wins on the trot again because it's rare a club like Wakefield achieves a feat like that.

"Of course, we're aiming for it but we're very realistic. Consistency over an extended period of time is probably more achievable for us this time around."

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