Sheffield Eagles concluded their pre-season preparations with new signing Eze Harper included for the first time in their defeat to Super League side Wakefield Trinity.
The tenants’ were defeated 50-6 at Belle Vue, but director of rugby Mark Aston used the final pre-season outing to give game time to a host of new arrivals, with Jordan Cox in the squad for the first time after recovering from a knee injury.
Harper, who became the Eagles’ eighth close season signing on Tuesday, pulled on a Sheffield jersey for the first time, as Aston presided over his side for the final time before their Championship season curtain raiser at Oldham on Sunday.
The scoreline may have flattered Trinity somewhat, with the new look Eagles giving a good account of themselves despite the gulf in class. After conceding a try early, the Eagles did pull level when PNG winger Garry Lo, who signed a new one-year deal at the back end of the week, grabbed the Eagles’ solitary try on nine minutes, which was converted by Simon Brown.
Trinity, the Eagles’ landlords for the 2017 campaign, eventually moved through the gears to run out comfortable winners, but Aston will take heart from some of his side’s play as they continue to play catch up after a turbulent time off the field.
Meanwhile, as well as Lo, compatriots Mark Mexico and Menzie Yere have also signed new terms this week to keep them at the club for 2017.
The Eagles have also appointed a new captain in Matty James who was given the armband for the first time at Wakefield, with Duane Straugheir and Scott Wheeldon being named as vice-captains.
The Eagles start the new season against the Roughyeds at Bower Fold this Sunday. Kick off 3pm.
* Eagles: Millar, Lo, Yere, Whiteley, Blackmore; Brown, Minchella; Wheeldon, Fozard, James; Hope, Straugheir; Trout. Interchange: Burns, Mexico, Scott, Cox, Kelly, Harper.