FORMER England international Jamie Langley has signed for Sheffield Eagles on a two-year contract in the Championship.
The experienced loose-forward joined Hull KR this season but has been sidelined since suffering a serious knee injury in June and was not offered a new deal for 2015.
However, Langley, who won Super League, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge titles during more than a decade with Bradford Bulls, is ready to help fire reigning champions Sheffield’s bid for the top-flight.
Eagles coach Mark Aston knows the sort of pedigree the 30-year-old can bring to his side and Langley admitted: “I’ve met with Tubbs (Aston) a few times and had a couple of really good conversations with him.
“It’s a new challenge for me and I’m really excited to get going.
“When I was weighing up my options I spoke to a few of the Sheffield lads and none of them had a bad word to say about the club.
“I know Straff (Duane Straugheir), Knozza (Michael Knowles) and Hirsty (Joe Hirst) and they all love it there; they enjoy their rugby and say it is a great environment to be in.
“It makes it easier when you have friends who are already at the club.
“You get the enjoyment aspect which is a big part of why I play rugby.
“I’ve played with Briggsy (Kyle Briggs) and Dom Brambani and played against Keith Senior for a number of years which makes the transition a little bit easier.
“The drive that the club has got behind it at this moment in time, looking to progress over the next few years with the new stadium and everything else, it just seemed like a no brainer for me.”
Langley will also be part of the coaching set-up when he joins the South Yorkshire club, a major factor in his decision.
“I’m going to be playing first and foremost and I want to play on for as many years as possible,” he continued.
“Helping on the coaching side of things is really appealing to me at this stage.
“I feel like I have a lot to offer having worked under some great coaches during my career.
“You learn little bits from each one and hopefully I can part with some of that wisdom myself.
“It’s going to be a really good competition next year. All the teams are strengthening; I think they realise it’s going to be a step up in class from what it has been.
“It’s going to be tough. The Championship has been close this year and I think there will be a few teams fighting it out for those top spots.
“There are going to be no pushovers and no easy games; I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
Sheffield head to Featherstone Rovers on Sunday for a place in the Championship Grand Final and a potential third successive title.
Aston said: “We are delighted that Jamie has chosen to join us here at the Eagles.
“I am looking forward to working with him both as a player and as a coach, we have a relatively young forward pack and his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to them.
“I am sure that Jamie will quickly become a fans’ favourite and build on the reputation he has already gained from his experiences in both Super League and international rugby.”