Rugby League: Eagles can be assured of a good welcome back ‘home’

Rugby League: News, reports and more.
Rugby League: News, reports and more.
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Sheffield Eagles can be sure of a warm welcome if they return to Owlerton Stadium after 25 years away.

The greyhound and speedway venue is the Eagles best hope of staying in the city after playing their last game at the doomed Don Valley last Sunday.

Following a fact-finding visit both the Eagles and Owlerton bosses are keen to bring first team games back to the stadium next season.

“There is a big welcome, there is a lot of opportunity here,” said John Gilburn, managing director of Owlerton Stadium. “We would not have had preliminary talks with Sheffield Eagles if we didn’t feel something was possible and if we didn’t want to encourage them to come back home.

“These guys (Eagles) are positive, we’re positive so I’d like to think there’s a meeting point there.”

The Eagles need to find a new base in the city with work to demolish Don Valley - their home for the last 24 seasons - due to start in November. On the field the Eagles kept alive their hopes of retaining their Championship title with a 52-16 win over Dewsbury. That set up a play-off semi-final at Halifax on Thursday night (kick-off 7pm).

A move back to Owlerton, where the Eagles were launched in 1984, would be popular with fans. The club is to go ahead with feasibility on work needed at the stadium to meet RFL standards.

Deputy chairman John Whaling said: “The positive out of the visit is that there’s a will on both sides to make it work and obviously we will try to make sure there’s a way.”