Ireland coach delight as Eagles are spared

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SHEFFIELD EAGLES’ World Cup stars Menzie Yere, Mitch Stringer and co will return from the tournament safe in the knowledge their club has a new home.

Huge doubt had surrounded the future of the Eagles after Don Valley Stadium was officially closed down ready for demolition in September.

But, thankfully, the South Yorkshire club announced yesterday that they have secured a two-year agreement to return to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium – where it first formed almost 30 years ago.

The move back to the ground, which has a 6,000 capacity and will undergo improvements to its pitch and changing room, facilitates Championship Grand Final winners Sheffield to play all their home games in the city in 2014.

Eagles chairman Ian Swire said: “I’d like to thank Sheffield City Council, the RFL and Owlerton Stadium for their excellent support, ensuring our smooth transition back to our original home at Owlerton Stadium and ensuring that our community work continues within the city.

“Their assistance has crucially ensured we are able to remain in the city of Sheffield which has been our primary objective since the announcement of the closure of Don Valley Stadium.

“We are all highly impressed with the huge improvements in facilities at Owlerton Stadium since we left there in 1989 to move to Don Valley Stadium and I’m sure all of our spectators, old and new, will enjoy the amenities that the stadium has to offer.”

As Swire stated, Sheffield City Council has also agreed – in principle – to rescue the club’s valuable community programmes following their recent loss of Sport England funding from the RFL.

Sheffield coach Mark Aston, who leads Ireland against Australia in Limerick tonight, labelled it “fantastic” news.

The club intends to play on Sunday afternoons next season and a special fans Meet and Greet session will be held at Owlerton Stadium on Wednesday at 6.30pm.

Stand-off Daniel Holdsworth has secured a 12-month deal with Cronulla Sharks after being released from the final year of his Hull FC contract.