Sheffield Eagles: USA skipper becomes latest signing

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Sheffield Eagles’ close season recruitment drive has picked up with the signing of former London Broncos ace Mark Offerdahl.

After a relatively quiet few weeks on the transfer front, director of rugby Mark Aston has swooped for his eighth signing after the USA international agreed a one-year contract.

The front-rower, who was born in Australia but has represented the US at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, has spent the last two seasons with the Broncos, following a stint at North Wales Crusaders.

“It is good to have signed on. I’m really happy,” said the 30-year-old.

“I met Mark (Aston) over in Australia at the World Cup and we had a good chat there. He seemed like a real good bloke and a good coach and the Eagles would be a good club to come to.

“I’ve had a few mates play here before and they have said nothing but positive things about the club and the city so I’m over the moon.

“It is a great competition, it’s given me an opportunity to live over here in England for as many years as I have already, to travel around Europe, the rest of the world and play some top level rugby league.

“It is a pretty tough and physical competition, so you’ve got to stay on the ball, be good and compete.”

Aston’s recruitment so far has largely seen the Eagles follow a tried and tested formula of signing young players with potential for development.

But following a close season which has seen a number of experienced players depart, including vice-captains Duane Straugheir and Scott Wheeldon, Aston acknowledges that Offerdahl, 30, offers a much needed bank of knowledge.

“It’s great to bring Mark into the squad for 2018,” Aston said. “He’s a strong, dominant forward and will provide some heavy firepower up front for us.

“We have lost some of our senior players including our vice captains, but Offerdahl is an experienced player.

“He showed his leadership qualities at the World Cup, captaining USA, so hopefully he will stand up and become a senior member of what is a relatively young squad next year.”