Former Bradford Bulls and York City Knights regulars sign for Sheffield Eagles
Former Bradford Bulls centre Ross Oakes has joined on a two-year deal, while ex-York CIty Knights utility back Jason Bass has also signed up for next season and versatile second row-turned-centre Kadeem Williams has returned to following three years with Coventry Bears in League 1.
The club’s wheelchair rugby league team, which was formed in June, will also play its first-ever game this weekend against Rochdale Hornets, who coincidentally were the opposition for the Sheffield Eagles senior men’s team on its competitive debut in 1984.
“It has been an amazing four months since we launched the Wheelchair Rugby League team and I am very proud that we are able to take the next step and play this first game against Rochdale,” said David Butler, chair of the Eagles Foundation.
A further six new signings will be unveiled by the Eagles over the next week, with one member of the 2021 squad also set to re-sign.
Discussing his move, 25-year-old Oakes said: “We can’t turn things around overnight but when I met Tubbs he told me how things are going to be in the next two to three years and it sounded exciting.
“It seems like the place to be so I can’t wait to be there.”
Sheffield’s head coach Mark Aston added: “He is big and strong and when he broke on to the scene with the Bulls, he scored plenty of tries.
“I don’t think he’s had enough time with the ball in his hands over the last few years to cause teams trouble.”
Sheffield-born Williams came through the Eagles’ now-defunct academy and revealed he asked to return to the club to try and prove he can make the grade at Championship level.
He said: “I want to prove to myself that I can do the step up and play with these boys and show what I’m capable of.”
Aston added: “He knows it’s a challenge but he’s asked for the opportunity and we’re only too happy to do that.
“Fingers crossed he can progress and fight to get into the team.”