Eagles director to take over as president of Rugby League

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SHEFFIELD Eagles’ director John Whaling this week befomes the new President of the Rugby Football League.

Mr Whaling will take over at a meeting of the RFL Council held at Bramall Lane onWednesday.

“It is an ambassadorial role but an enormous honour both for Sheffield Eagles and myself,” he said.

Mr Whaling, from Thorpe Hesley, was one of a group of people who rescued the Eagles after the ill-fated ‘merger’ with Huddersfield Giants in 1999.

He added: “I’m really pleased that the RFL Council is meeting in Sheffield – it’s certainly the first time since we reformed the Eagles.

“On a selfish level during my year in office I would like to raise the profile of rugby league in this city. On a wider scale I want to promote all aspects of rugby league and the charities linked to it.”

It is the second time a member of the Eagles board has held the most senior office in the RFL. In the mid-1990s Kath Hetherington, wife of the Eagles founder Gary, was President.

Mr Whaling takes over as President from Bev Risman who was a guest at the Eagles last home game – the win over Barrow Raiders.

His first engagement as RFL President will be to attend a development day at Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill, where there will be eight county teams in the 14 to 16 ages groups playing.