Sheffield Eagles have announced they will be playing their 2021 home fixtures at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
The move comes after the Betfred Championship club’s current ground, the Olympic Legacy Park, was deemed unsuitable for use due to the lack of facilities and failure to comply with Covid-19 regulations.
The club’s general manager Liam Claffey admitted that although he was disappointed to see the team move out of the Steel City, he hoped that the club would be able to return soon.
Claffey told the club’s website: “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 its 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.”
Work is due to start imminently on a new purpose-built Community Stadium on the site of the former Don Valley stadium and the Eagles hope to return there ahead of the 2022 season.
The club says they had worked with Sheffield City Council to explore other opportunities within the city but were unable to source a venue.
With the latest move the Eagles have now had seven different homes since first leaving Don Valley in 2009. Fans could now face a 40-mile round trip to watch their side if spectators were to return to matches this season.
Club Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall said that he hoped the move would help drive interest in the Rugby League World Cup which is being held across England later this year.
Hall said: “At Club Doncaster we pride ourselves on being one big family and when the Eagles reached 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.”