SHEFFIELD Eagles new signing Tom Armstong is set to start the season at centre after being given the number four shirt following the release of the 2013 squad numbers.
The former St Helens and Swinton Lions back was one of the high-profile signings as the Eagles attempt to defend their Championship title. A regular partner for Menzie Yere in the centres was a problem last season but Armstrong seems to be in pole position when the season opens at Halifax next week. Coach Mark Aston said: “I’m excited about seeing Tom in the team. The lads call him ‘Terminator’ because of how he ‘hits’ people in training. Tom felt that he wasn’t at his best last year and got stifled - now it’s time to let him off the leash.”
Scott Turner, whose tries helped take the Eagles to their first Grand Final triumph is given the number two shirt with Misi Taulapapa in five. Patch Walker signed from Dewsbury is in the stand-off’s six shirt.
The other new signings James Davey, Matt Gardside and Colton Roche will wear 14, 21 and 22 respectively. With the Championship extended to 14 teams all the players are likely to get a chance in the early rounds.
Championship clubs return to using individual numbers in the season after a year when the traditional 1-13 system was used.
Five ‘elite’ reserve squad players are given numbers that will be used if they get a first team call up.
Eagles squad numbers 2013: 1. Quentin Lalu-Togagae, 2. Scott Turner, 3. Menzie Yere, 4. Tom Armstrong, 5. Misi-Taulapapa, 6. Patch Walker, 7. Dominic Brambani, 8. Jack Howieson (capt), 9. Andrew Henderson, 10. Mitch Stringer, 11. Michael Knowles, 12.Peter Green, 13. Joe Hirst, 14. James Davey, 15. Alex Szostak, 16. Duane Straugheir, 17. Liam Higgins, 18. Nev Morrison, 19. Vinny Finigan, 20. Pat Smith, 21. Matt Garside, 22. Colton Roche, 23.Dane McDonald.
Elite squad: 26. Leigh Sanders, 27. Connor Scott, 28. Sam Williamson, 29 Corey Hanson, 30 Tom Ashton.