Rugby league: Sheffield Eagles sign Halifax prop Tony Tonks as they eye Super League

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Sheffield Eagles have confirmed the signing of Halifax prop forward Tony Tonks.

The 29-year-old will be no stranger to Eagles fans, having been a mainstay in the Featherstone Rovers team between 2009 and 2011, before switching to Halifax in 2012.

The two West Yorkshire clubs have competed alongside the Eagles in the upper echelons of the Championship table during that period, and Tonks says he is excited to get down to business in Sheffield.

He said: “I can’t wait to get on board and get a feel for the club. It’s a club which has been in finals and has a really good culture.

“Having spoken to Mark (chief executive Aston), it really seems as if he is growing something here. He is taking steps to improve the club and strengthen the squad. He sets goals which are achievable and I want to be a part of that.

“Whenever I played against Sheffield, they were one of those sides that never gave in. You had to be on the ball all the time; the team togetherness and the culture they have is massive, and that is something I want to be involved in.”

The pathway to Super League re-opens for Championship teams next year, with the top four clubs entering a subsequent league of eight teams, with the bottom four of Super League, to battle it out for a spot at rugby league’s top table.

Tonks is in no doubt the Eagles can force their way into the shake-up.

“The top four is definitely achievable,” he continued.

“I think we’re going to be up there.

The structures are in place and the standards have been set; the players that have been brought in will add to an already strong squad and, as long as we all gel, I can’t see us being far away.”