Live updates

Eagles sign former Giant Tonks

Sheffield Eagles have signed former Huddersfield Giants forward Tony Tonks.

Former Huddersfield Giants prop Tony Tonks Credit: Press Association

The 29-year-old front rower has made 141 Championship appearances for Halifax and his previous club Featherstone Rovers, scoring 19 tries.

He is the Eagles' seventh signing of the close season, joining Blake South, John Davies, Steve Thorpe, Jamie Langley, Ben Musolino and former Halifax team-mate Rob Worrincy.

"Games against Sheffield have always been tough battles," said Tonks.

"You can see there is a real togetherness and a real strong culture at the club, and I want to be a part of that.

“Having spoken to Mark Aston you can see he is building something here. He has made some really good signings, and the players that are already here are class acts as well.

"He is taking steps to improve the club and the squad so I’m looking forward to being involved.

“I think top four is definitely achievable. When you look at the sides that will be competing at the top end of the table, I don’t think Sheffield are far away from them at all.

"As long as all the new lads fit in well, which I’m sure we will, I think we will be right up there."

'Olympic Legacy Park' to rise out of Don Valley rubble

Plans for a new £50 million community sports park in Sheffield were unveiled today.

It will be known as the Olympic Legacy Park, and will be built on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium. It is hoped it will be fully operational in early 2016. ITV Calendar reporter Chris Dawkes reports:

Advertisement

Sheffield Eagles to return to site of old Don Valley Stadium

Olympic Park Legacy Park

Sheffield Eagles have announced they will be returning to the site of the old Don Valley Stadium when they move into a new community stadium in the Olympic Legacy Park.

The Eagles have secured a £6m investment to fund the building of stadium, which will feature a high quality synthetic pitch, an impressive main stand, a 50-bed hotel, catering and hospitality areas, and facilities developed in partnership with Sheffield’s second University Technical College.

Plans for the new Legacy Park are well advanced and the first phase of the re-development is already underway with the building of a new through school catering for children from 2 to 16 years. The school will open its Primary phase in September 2015, with the second phase opening a year later.

At the same time, Sheffield’s second University Technical College (UTC) will open on the same site, specialising in human sciences and digital technologies.

Olympic Park Legacy Park

When we heard that Don Valley was to close we realised that this could be a terminal blow to Sheffield Eagles as a club, but we have always had to work hard against the odds to survive, so we rolled up our sleeves, thought creatively and formed partnerships with others who have shared a common vision of securing a long term legacy in sport, health and well-being for the site.

At first many said that it was just a pipe dream that would never happen, but we had to make it happen if Eagles were to survive and thrive in Sheffield and the game of Rugby League not be lost to this great city. We have worked with some remarkably talented and visionary people on this project and it is an outstanding testament to what can be achieved by genuine partnership working.

The new stadium will be like no other in this country, in that it will be designed and managed to have multiple uses that reflect the needs of the broader community as well as being a top class facility for performance rugby of both codes. Unlike many sports stadia that has limited uses this one will be constantly in use - for educational and research purposes, community activities, sports development and health and well being support, as well as a venue for professional rugby - and Sheffield Eagles are proud to be part of that as a true community club.

– Ian Anniss, Sheffield Eagles Director of Community, Development and Education
Olympic Park Legacy Park

Owen joins Eagles on loan

Hooker Gareth Owen has become the third Salford player to join Championship Grand Final winners Sheffield Eagles on a season-long loan.

Gareth Owen scores for Salford Credit: Press Association

The 21-year-old, who has made 36 Super League appearances but is now the Red Devils' third-choice hooker, follows team-mates Will Hope and Jon Ford to Owlerton for 2014.

"I'm excited to be joining the Eagles," said Owen, who is set to make his debut against Swinton on Sunday. "They had a great season last year, winning the Championship for a second successive year and I hope I can help them defend the trophy again in 2014."

Szostak opts for Eagles break

Defending champions Sheffield Eagles will be without Scotland second-rower Alex Szostak for the 2014 Championship season after he opted to concentrate on his day job as a genetic technologist at a children's hospital.

Alex Szostak

Szostak, 27, who will use the break to develop business interests in Lancashire and progress his career within the NHS, has made 148 appearances for the Eagles since joining them in 2008 and played in all three of their Championship Grand Finals.

He was in the Scotland team that reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 World Cup.

"I have had a fantastic time over the last five years playing for Sheffield Eagles and Scotland and I've decided the time is now right to take a break from rugby league and focus on other commitments," said Szostak, who will consider returning for the 2015 season.

"Winning back-to-back championship with the Eagles and representing Scotland against New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the World Cup was a great way to end 2013 and finish on a incredible high."

Eagles look to fly above relegation zone

With the re-structuring of the top two divisions it is a big year for our clubs in the Championship - rugby league's second tier.

Although promotion to the Super League won't come into effect until next year, each and every club will be doing their best to ensure they aren't one of the 5 clubs relegated to the third tier.

The Sheffield Eagles are back to back champions, and head coach Mark Aston says the pressure will be on this season:

Advertisement

Senior soars home

Keith Senior (right) is returning to the Sheffield Eagles Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Former Great Britain centre Keith Senior is to return to Sheffield Eagles as part of the Championship's club back-room staff.

Senior, 37, who was a member of the Eagles side that beat Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final at Wembley, will become one of two assistants to head coach Mark Aston, while maintaining his day-to-day role at the Leeds Rugby Foundation.

Senior, who played with Aston at Sheffield from 1995-99, hung up his boots in 2011 after becoming the first player to reach 500 appearances in Super League.

Video: Back to where it started for Sheffield Eagles

After months of turmoil it was announced last week that the Sheffield Eagles have found a new home. From next year they'll play at Owlerton Stadium after being made homeless following the impending demolition of the Don Valley Stadium.

It's a return home for the club who last year won rugby league's second tier, the Championship. Chris Dawkes has been speaking to the Eagles head coach Mark Aston.

Future of Sheffield Eagles could be in doubt

The future of the Sheffield Eagles is in doubt after the decision to close the Don Valley Stadium. The team, which currently plays at the venue which shuts later this month - is now searching for a new home.

It's thought two options - Sheffield Hallam University's new sports complex - and the Owlerton Stadium - are currently not suitable - and it's feared the club could fold if a new ground can't be found.

Load more updates