Eagles land Dixon to bolster squad

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles have finally got their man - after 11 years, writes Dave Hadfield. Paul Dixon, signed for pounds 20,000 from Bradford Bulls, is due to make his debut against Oldham tomorrow, but he could have joined the club in his early 20s rather than his early 30s.

The Eagles' coach and chairman, Gary Hetherington, was Huddersfield's captain when Dixon made his professional debut there and tried to sign him when he launched the new club a couple of seasons later.

"We ran out of money, but I've brought him here at last," said Hetherington of the former Great Britain forward, 33, who has also played for Halifax and Leeds. "He is still very fit and strong and will add the experience that we need alongside our good young players."

The need for that sort of influence is apparent from Sheffield's position at the foot of the Championship, but victory tomorrow could take them above both Oldham and Workington, who are at home to Bradford.

Sheffield must wait until Tuesday for the arrival of their three Fijians, signed during the World Cup. However, Danny McAllister, a prop from the South Queensland Crushers, will make his first appearance along with Dixon.

Castleford's captain, Lee Crooks, is likely to be out for a further week with a hand injury, but Adrian Flynn and Colin Maskill are back from suspension against London Broncos.

For the Broncos, the task is clear. They must bring their defence up to the level of their attack after scoring 34 points but conceding 50 against St Helens in midweek - a defensive display that their captain, Terry Matterson, called "embarrassing".

In the First Division, the leaders Keighley are at home to Featherstone Rovers. Widnes, whose recurring cash-flow problems could force them to sell John Devereux to Warrington, are at Rochdale Hornets.

Warrington, who have the weekend off, want Devereux as a replacement for Jonathan Davies, while another Widnes Welshman, Adrian Hadley, says he has not been paid by the club and wants to go back to union.