Rugby League: Eagles set to leave Sheffield

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The Independent Online
SHEFFIELD EAGLES are discussing a move to ground-share with the Second Division football club, Chesterfield.

The Eagles, Challenge Cup winners last year but unable to attract the crowds to make playing at the Don Valley Stadium an economic proposition, have talked to Chesterfield about moving in with them as partners if and when they build a new stadium.

"Talks have taken place, but nothing has been signed and it is one of a number of options open to us," said Eagles' chairman, Tim Adams. "Anything we do will be in the best interests of the club and we will not go anywhere just as tenants."

Sheffield are involved in one of three matches tomorrow affecting the issue of relegation from Super League. Safe themselves, and with Mark Aston back on the bench after a long absence with injury, they go to Salford, who are just a point ahead of Hull and Huddersfield and bring back Joey Hayes and Martin Crompton.

The reinforcements are arriving for Huddersfield this weekend as they try to preserve their Super League lives.

The side currently occupying the relegation spot go to Wakefield this afternoon with two newcomers making their debuts and Malcolm Reilly hoping that they will make a difference to the club's survival prospects.

The New Zealand stand-off, Gene Ngamu, has arrived from Auckland, while the versatile Andy Johnson is on loan from Wigan for the rest of the season, and both will make their first appearances at Belle Vue.

Hull, with Fili Seru and Jamie Smith back, travel to an unchanged Castleford, one of the three sides playing today with play-off ambitions still in uppermost in their minds.

Gateshead, still with problems in their front row but with Steve Collins fit to return, are at home to London Broncos, who could include Martin Offiah and Scott Cram.

The third side in the equation, Warrington, deeply unimpressive at Huddersfield in midweek, must win at St Helens to keep their play-off hopes intact. Saints will have Sean Long back after a calf strain and Julian O'Neill could be fit to play a part after his recent absence.

The North/West preliminary grand final of the Rugby League Conference, which was to be played as a curtain-raiser at Wilderspool, has been moved because of fears about the pitch following heavy rain.

Chester and Cheltenham will now meet at Woolston, with the winners going on to play the holders, the Crawley Jets, in the final in London next Saturday. Crawley get the chance to defend their title despite having lost to Hemel Hempstead in their regional semi-final, the winners having been expelled for fielding ineligible players.

The Northern Ford Premiership, nearing an exciting climax of its own with Leigh, Dewsbury and Hunslet - the latter of whom meet tomorrow - all locked together on 38 points, is proposing to the Rugby League Council that its next season should start this December, and that it should revert to a top eight play-off.