Sheffield Eagles have been given the green light to start the 2018 Kingstone Press Championship away from home, allowing the club vital time to bring their new home at the Olympic Legacy Park in line with RFL criteria.
The Eagles will begin the new campaign with a trip to the Tetley’s Stadium to face Neil Kelly’s Dewsbury Rams on Friday 2nd February (7.45pm).
The Eagles won’t christen their new home at the lower Don Valley until March 4th, giving the club an extra month’s grace to meet league requirements. The historic first game back in the city will see London Broncos make the first visit to the OLP.
“We need to make sure that we meet specific requirements with facilities – including for directors and hospitality guests – we are meeting the RFL regarding that,” Eagles general manager Liam Claffey previously told The Star.
“We are working hard behind the scenes and we are confident we will be ready for the start of the season.”
The extra dispensation was key for the Eagles, who have previously confirmed that further games out of Sheffield would prove unsustainable.
After their visit to Dewsbury, the Eagles travel to Halifax on Sunday 11th February (3pm), Toulouse (3.30pm) on Saturday 17th February and Featherstone on Sunday 25th February (3pm).
Following their first game back in the Steel City against London, the Eagles then host Championship newcomers Toronto Wolfack for the first time on Sunday 11th March. They face fellow newcomers Barrow Raiders for the first time on 25th March.
The Eagles will also face the Raiders at the Summer Bash, once again staged at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road, on Saturday 26th May. The Eagles conclude their regular season campaign with a trip to the Leigh Sports Village to face Leigh Centurions on Sunday 29th July.
Director Mark Aston has started to plot his course for next season after unveiling his first two signings.
Shaun Pick, formerly of Toronto, and ex-Swinton forward Oliver Davies have both agreed two-year contracts to sign for the Eagles.
Aston has also recently tied down new contracts for the likes of Menzie Yere, Simon Brown, Greg Burns, Matty James and Ryan Millar.
The Eagles chief is currently away leading Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup.