Sheffield Eagles: Perry Whiteley is latest to join

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Sheffield Eagles have added former Workington centre Perry Whiteley to their ranks while utility man Matt James has also agreed a new deal with the club.

Whiteley is the third signing in quick succession for the Eagles after they were given the green light to confirm names for the upcoming campaign, by finding the required stability off the field which has satisfied the RFL.

Whiteley started his career with Huddersfield Giants, and after a spell in Australia, has spent the last two years in Cumbria at Workington.

“Perry started in a good system at Huddersfield, then he broadened his horizons by going to Australia for a year or two and did well,” director of rugby Mark Aston told The Star.

“He came back to England and signed for Workington but picked up an injury and missed a big part of the season. He has some ability and he is still only in his early 20s, so he can improve. He is physically tough, he is not frightened to put his body where it needs to go.”

Whiteley will undoubtedly add some physicality to the Eagles, whilst he also offers the club some versatility, with an ability to also operate in the back row.

Aston acknowledged that Whiteley still has some work to do, but with former Great Britain centre Keith Senior on the staff, Aston has backed his new recruit to flourish under his guidance.

“He can play centre, he has a bit of work defensively to understand that role as centre, but here at Sheffield he has one of the best in that position that this country has ever had in Keith Senior,” Aston continued.

“He will be there to educate him. Perry can also play in the back row, so there is that versatility which is good. He is tough, uncompromising and very fit so he is one player who I think people will starting making a note of in 2017.”

Meanwhile, James is another of last season’s crop to commit their future to the club, as the Eagles managed to stem the flow towards the exit door at the start of the close season.

One of several players who stepped up for Aston during the Eagles’ improved form at the back end of last season, James has agreed what seems to be the statutory one-year part-time deal offered by the club.