Eagles were Paris launch replacements

Sheffield Eagles’ former owner and coach Gary Hetherington has revealed how the club’s iconic opening Super League match in Paris almost didn’t involve them.
Speaking ahead of the 24th anniversary of the iconic clash on Sunday Hetherington said: “When the draft fixtures were first done it was going to be PSG versus Oldham.
“I remember having a call with Maurice Lindsay – and he won’t mind me saying this – who said nobody in France would ever have heard of Oldham.
“He thought they would certainly have heard of Sheffield and how would we feel about being part of that first game. We said we’d be delighted.
“It was a really exciting time for us as a club.
“Even though we weren’t particularly well supported, we took 1,500 people on that trip to Paris and it was a great adventure.
“There was a bit of the unknown going to the bright lights of Paris and not quite knowing what to expect, and all the spotlight was on the game in terms of media coverage.
“It was a real time of uncertainty, but one of great excitement.”
Hetherington also revealed that he had never watched the game back until last night’s screening by Sky Sports to mark its anniversary.
He added: “I do remember that we bombed a few chances early on and turning around to my assistant Steve Ferres and saying ‘this isn’t our night’.
“But while it was disappointing for us, it was a terrific start for Paris and in many ways for Super League.”