Sheffield Eagles still on track to return to city in March

Sheffield Eagles are on track for their homecoming in March.
Sheffield Eagles are on track for their homecoming in March.
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Sheffield Eagles remain on course to be ready for their Steel City return in March.

The Eagles are returning to Sheffield after spells in Doncaster, and most recently Wakefield, but face a race against time to have their new facility at the Olympic Legacy Park ready for the start of the new season.

The club have been given a helping hand by the rugby league authorities, who have allowed the Eagles to play their first four games away - allowing Mark Aston's side to get their new home in line with RFL specifications for the visit of London Broncos on March 4.

Director of rugby Aston has indicated that the Eagles are still set to meet the deadline for their return, stressing the importance of being back in Sheffield for 2018.

"Things are moving forward and things are going into place," Aston told The Star.

"We have been out now for a number of years and it has been tough. We need to get the excitement flowing again with the fans and the sponsors. We need them back here to help us with some of the things we were achieving a couple of years ago."

Aston has again reiterated that the facility won't be the finished article by March, but the Eagles are confident that the use of temporary seating will give them the required breathing space for the stadium's full completion in 2019.

"It will be temporary this year, there is no doubt," Aston added.

"We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that come March when we play at home for the first time, everything will be in place. It won't be the finished article, we need to remember that. That will be 2019, but the most important thing is that we are back in Sheffield.

"It will be different this time. It will be a rugby stadium, we have never had that in Sheffield. It is exciting times and when it is all complete, we'll have close to a 4,000 capacity with a view to extending that.

"We need people to get behind us and we need to be loud and proud that we have kept rugby league alive because that was the challenge last year. The challenge this year is to re-establish it in the city."

Aston has added seven new signings during the close season and is looking to add more faces before the season opener in February.