Sheffield Eagles land Featherstone Rovers star with Mark Aston insisting he’ll help the club progress

Anthony Thackeray looks to make a break. Picture Tony Johnson.
Anthony Thackeray looks to make a break. Picture Tony Johnson.
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Sheffield Eagles have landed Featherstone Rovers scrum-half Anthony Thackeray on a two-year deal.

Director of rugby Mark Aston’s close season overhaul continues with what will be seen as an eye-catching acquisition, with Thackeray following Brad Knowles in swapping life at Post Office Road for a stint in the Steel City.

After a disappointing first season back in Sheffield, Aston promised there would be big changes for 2019, with the long-serving coach drafting in 14 new faces as he looks to bolster his ranks for what is set to be a tougher 14-team competition.

Thackeray certainly knows his way around the division after making 22 appearances for Rovers last season, helping the Flat Cappers claim the Championship Shield.

“It is a great signing for us,” said Aston.

“He’s played at this level for many years and he does the things we want.

“He scores tries, has a great short kicking game and I have been impressed with him defensively over the last 12 months.

“He is a leader and we need as many of them as we can.

“I am delighted to get him on board and we have spoken for a while now, he went away and he’s come back and said he wants to be a part of this.

“We need to start progressing up the ladder and with players like Thackeray, he is going to help us to get where we want to be.”

The 32-year-old started his career in Super League with Hull FC, before taking in spells with Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings.

He became a favourite in The Championship after stints with Halifax and Dewsbury Rams, and arrives at the Olympic Legacy Park after three seasons with Rovers.

Thackeray bagged five tries in three appearances against the Eagles last season, but despite a strong start to the campaign Fev missed out on a top-four position

They did beat Leigh Centurions to lift the Championship Shield but Thackeray missed the final due to suspension.

Meanwhile, former Eagle Misi Taulapapa has signed for League One side Newcastle Thunder.

Aston was keen on a return for the veteran but admitted that finances could be an issue in his attempts to secure a return for the popular Somoa international.

Taulapapa joins Keal Carlile in the north east - another ex-Eagle that Aston was keen to bring back to the Steel City for next season.