Sheffield Eagles head coach Mark Aston has high expectations for new signing Dario Esposito.
The Italian international forward has joined the champions from West Yorkshire rivals Dewsbury Rams.
He will not be in contention for tonight’s Championship trip to Leigh Centurions but Aston believes the 24-year-old has all the attributes to make his mark with the South Yorkshire club.
He said: “Dario is full of commitment and enthusiasm, exactly the type of qualities I look for in a player.
“He has a great work ethic, too, and with competition for places right across the squad this year, he’ll need that to fight his way into the starting 17.
“He’s only played rugby league for four years but he’s great on his feet and can hit hard and run hard. I’m sure he’ll fit in great here at the Eagles.”
Esposito, who can play prop or second-row, is originally from New Zealand and played in Australia’s Queensland Cup with the South Logan Magpies, the same club as Sheffield’s prolific full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae.
Eagles captain Jack Howieson is expected to return to action tonight after missing last week’s 46-14 win over York City Knights with a knee strain.
Sheffield won at Leigh in the play-offs on their way to Grand Final glory last season.
“They deserve the ‘champions’ tag they carry with them now,” said coach Paul Rowley.
“With that tag comes pressure and expectation. It’s our job to try to knock them off.”