‘Blazer’ jibe fuels row over Eagles venue

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A WAR of words has erupted between Sheffield Eagles and Dewsbury Rams over switching their game to a private school on the outskirts of the city.

Rams coach Warren Jowitt blasted the venue and says he may “turn up in my school blazer”.

Eagles’ coach and chief executive Mark Aston hit back saying attempts had been made for seven months to rearrange the fixture but Dewsbury had rejected all alternative dates. The Championship game will be played at Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill, on Friday (7.30pm). Both Bramall Lane and Don Valley are being re-seeded and the Eagles ruled out playing at Wakefield Wildcats to keep the game as close to Sheffield as possible.

The St Mary’s ground has RFL approval and is where Eagles reserves play.

The ground has uncovered seating for 400. Aston said: “We know this isn’t ideal but we have been on this since last November. In January we asked Dewsbury to reverse the fixtures – we could have played in Sheffield in April and Dewsbury this weekend. Warren didn’t want it.”

Jowitt insists spectator facilities are not adequate and the ground and its floodlights are “not up to scratch for professional rugby league”

He added: “It makes you wonder what the sport has come to when two professional teams are playing on a school field.”

Aston said: “Dewsbury are showing disrespect by calling this a ‘school field’ - it has a good big pitch with high-quality facilities for the teams. Let’s just hope that if it rains it’s only on Warren’s side of the ground.”