Eagles resist ‘bizarre move’ for hooker Henderson

Wanted man: Key man Andrew Harrison, being tackled against Featherstone last season .'       Picture: Steve ellis
Wanted man: Key man Andrew Harrison, being tackled against Featherstone last season .' Picture: Steve ellis
0
Have your say

SHEFFIELD Eagles have survived a move by French club Catalan Dragons to sign their hooker Andrew Henderson.

It would have seen Henderson linking up at the Super League club as back-up number nine to his younger brother Ian.

The Dragons saw the Scottish international as a ready-made solution to a crisis after reserve hooker Eloi Pelissier was ruled out for three months with a broken jaw.

Eagles’ coach Mark Aston says he was surprised by the move but is happy that Henderson is staying.

“It’s bizarre. It came out of the blue, Hendo and I talked about it behind locked doors,” said Aston. “We didn’t think it was a goer and we certainly didn’t want to lose him because he’s such an influential player.

“The Catalans did ‘sound him out’ and the interesting thing for Hendo was that he could have played in the same team as his brother but that’s gone now and that’s a great relief for Sheffield Eagles and their fans.”

Following the rebuff Dragons’ coach Trent Robinson has signed former Hull KR hooker Ben Fisher from Batley Bulldogs on a two-month loan as cover.

The loss of Henderson would have been a major disruption to Aston’s plans with the Eagles kicking off their season with a Northern Rail Cup game at Workington on Sunday.

The experienced hooker was outstanding last season playing in all 30 games as the Eagles reached their first Grand Final. He is also coach of the Eagles Academy squads based at All Saints School in the city and that was a factor in rejecting the Catalan approach.

Aston added: “Hendo wasn’t really interested because he has a dual role at the club - working with our young kids in our Academy and that is very important to him and us.

“Hendo is a massive player on and off the field. He’s a competitor, that rubs off on other people and that’s the reason we want to keep him.”