Eagles to return to Owlerton

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Sheffield Eagles’ search for a new home is over with a nostalgic return to Owlerton Stadium next season.

Confirmation of the move ends fears that the Championship title-holders would be forced out of the city following the closure of Don Valley Stadium.

It will see Eagles play at the ground where the club was launched in 1984 and played for five seasons.

Eagles will play their first team games at the 6,000 capacity stadium, which also stages greyhound racing, speedway and stock car racing.

Home games will move back to Sunday afternoons when the new season kicks-off in February. Eagles supporters have the chance to visit their new home and talk to officials at a ‘Meet and Greet’ evening at the stadium on Wednesday, starting at 6.30pm.

The move has the backing of the Rugby Football League, and Sheffield City Council is set to provide aid to boost the Eagles community programme.

Club chairman Ian Swire said: “I’d like to thank Sheffield City Council, the Rugby Football League and Owlerton Stadium for their excellent support, ensuring our smooth transition back to our original home and ensuring that our community work continues within the city.

“Their assistance has crucially ensured we are able to remain in the city of Sheffield which has been our primary objective ince the announcement of the closure of Don Valley Stadium.”

Work has started on improving the pitch at the stadium and changing room facilities are to be expanded.

John Gilburn, Owlerton managing director, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to help the club stay in Sheffield and we look forward to working in partnership to help the Eagles realise their Super League ambitions.”

The club and the city council are to continue talks about help in keeping the Eagles extensive community programme operating.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said: “I’m delighted that the Eagles have secured their new home at Owlerton and I’m pleased to confirm that the council has in principle agreed to rescue the club’s community programmes.”

Eagles Scottish international trio face an agonising weekend of waiting before they learn if they have a place in the Rugby League World Cup quarter-finals.

Mitch Stringer, Alex Szostak and Andrew Henderson helped keep hopes alive in the 22-8 win over USA but the Bravehearts will miss out on the knockout stages if Italy, who a superior points difference, beat Tonga.