Sheffield Eagles building for the future

Iliess Macani
Iliess Macani
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Sheffield Eagles have signed Iliess Macani on a one-year contract following his departure from Bradford Bulls.

The versatile Macani becomes Mark Aston’s third close season signing, whilst winger Ben Blackmore has also committed himself to a new two-year deal.

With Macani, 23, joining fellow new arrivals Shaun Pick and Oliver Davies, Aston’s squad is slowing taking shape.

Macani is primarily a winger but has also operated at full-back. He made 25 appearances for the Bulls lasts season, scoring 10 tries.

He started his career at London Broncos and played several times in Super League, before switching to Bradford in 2017.

“We are pleased to bring Iliess into the squad” said Eagles assistant coach Keith Senior.

“He is a valuable addition to us, in what will be a very difficult competition in 2018. We are continuing to work on finalising our squad and will be confirming more signings over the coming weeks.”

Aston is playing catch-up in terms of recruitment, after being forced to wait in making moves until their return to Sheffield and the Olympic Legacy Park was rubber stamped.

But progress has started to accelerate in recent weeks as the club look to offset a number of departures.

Blackmore’s decision to re-sign will come as a major boost to Aston, who continues to lead Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup. The winger, who also operated at centre, often came in for praise last season, scoring 11 tries.

With the likes of Menzie Yere, Matty James, Simon Brown, Greg Burns and Ryan Millar all signing new deals, Eagles are now forging ahead with a squad for their first season back in the Steel City.

“We are pleased to be able to retain Ben’s services” Senior added. “It provides consistency for us and Ben, along with Garry Lo, have been amongst the best wingers in the competition.”

Senior said: “I’m sure Ben will continue his excellent form over the next two seasons and hopefully beyond.”

Meanwhile, the club have also appointed Mark Hannigan as the club’s new commercial director, whilst general manager Liam Claffey will become chief operations officer from the start of next month.