Eagles to play home games in Doncaster in 2021

Sheffield Eagles have announced that they will be playing home matches in 2021 at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.

The club has revealed that, in collaboration with Sheffield City Council, it explored all opportunities within the city ahead of making its decision but it was unable to source a suitable venue.

The Olympic Legacy Park is currently unsuitable due to the lack of facilities as well as not meeting Covid-19 related requirements.

Work on the Community Stadium is due to commence imminently and the Eagles remain in continual dialogue with the RFL, the Local Authority, Scarborough Development Group and GMI Construction in relation to the site.

The club is now confident that the stadium build will be completed ahead of the 2022 season, providing a much needed home for Sheffield’s professional Rugby League club.

Speaking of the move to the Keepmoat Stadium, Eagles General Manager Liam Claffey said, “We’d like to express our thanks to Carl Hall and the team at Club Doncaster for assisting with the move.”

“There is a great deal of work to be done surrounding matches in relation to playing behind closed doors and adhering to Covid-19 guidelines and Club Doncaster have implemented excellent procedures to ensure matches can take place in a safe, controlled environment.

“It’s disappointing to be leaving the city again, but assurances have been given to the club regarding our return and competing at a finished Olympic Legacy Park, which helped the club reach it decision.

“Whilst we hope to welcome back supporters as soon as possible, it’s likely a number of games will be played behind closed doors, which will hopefully lessen the move somewhat as we work on plans to stream matches live via OurLeague.”

Dons Chief executive Carl Hall said: “At Club Doncaster we pride ourselves on being one big family and when the Eagles reach out to us we tried to do everything we could to help them.

“The club will benefit financially from the deal and it also brings more Rugby League to Doncaster in a World Cup year.

“We have worked closely with Sheffield to make sure the transition is a simple one, and the procedures we have in place due to COVID-19 are right up there with every precaution taken along the way.”

Head groundsman at the Keepmoat Stadium, Andy Thompson, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Sheffield Eagles to the Keepmoat Stadium. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to create a playing surface that everyone associated with our clubs can be proud of and it will be great to see it being used regularly.”