31st October 2018, 06:55
Eagles bring in young props Dixon and Taylor
Sheffield Eagles have acquired the services of prop forwards Rory Dixon and Lewis Taylor from York City Knights and Hemel Stags respectively.
Dixon has been part of the Hemel squad since moving to the club from York on a loan deal during 2018, while Taylor has been at the Stags while studying at Loughborough University.
Taylor received international recognition this year after being named in England’s 2018 University Rugby League squad, as well as the train-on squad for last year’s World Cup.
Both players arrive at the Olympic Legacy Park with keen hopes of progressing further in the sport and having the chance to ply their trade in the Championship certainly gives them an opportunity to shine.
Dicussing the acquistion of Dixon, Eagles chief Mark Aston commented: "Rory has been in good systems. He has been at Cas, signed a deal there, and then went to York where it didn't work out,"
"Having watched him play for Hemel in League 1, he is a big lad and he's only going to get bigger and stronger and he is certainly one for the future.
"As is Broadbent, these are the future front-rowers for Sheffield Eagles. Rory has got something about him, he hits hard and his leg drive into contact is very good.
"He does the fundamental things really well. Are the front-rowers ever the finished article at 20, 21-year-old?? No they are not, so we are delighted to get him."
Talking shortly after signing on the dotted line, Dixon said: “I am very happy to be on board,"
"I spoke to Mark for about an hour-and-half about the club, how he wants to change the culture, take it forward and it was something I was very interested in.
"I am looking to develop, learn as much as possible and get as many games under my belt as I can."
Having played alongside the likes of Louis Sheriff, Sonny Esslemont, Paddy Burns and Blake Broadbent, Dixon is looking forward to pre-season among some familar faces.
"They are all great guys and great players as well.
"I get on with them all and it will be a good transition for myself I think.
"I am going to work as hard as I can in pre-season, try and bulk up as much as possible, learn everything I can and hopefully when the games come around I'll get my chance."
On the signing of Taylor, Aston added: "Lewis has only played rugby league since he went to university,"
"He is from Devon, he played rugby union then went to Loughborough University, got picked for England RL Students and played for Hemel.
"His knowledge is understandably less than the others but he has got potential.
"He is a good kid and wants to progress and when you see someone like that, of course we are going to have a look."
Taylor was similarly upbeat for the season ahead, saying: “I am looking forward to it, it's going to be a big step up from Hemel,"
"I am looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season and experiencing the Championship."
Taylor comes to South Yorkshire after playing under Eagles legend Jack Howieson at Hemel, where he was rated highly by the former prop forward.
"I think Jack had a bit of input," Taylor said when discussing how the move occurred.
"He recommended me to Mark, who had a bit of a look and it went from there.
"It's nice to know he (Howieson) sees me going somewhere and not a bit-part player at Hemel."
The excitement is building at the OLP for the 2019 season so make sure to purchase your memberships today and get behind the boys!
Memberships are reduced at an early bird rate until Tuesday 20th November and can be made even more affordable with new direct debits, splitting payments over four monthly instalments.
Go to http://www.sheffieldeagles.com/tickets/2019_memberships for more information and to purchase yours!
By Dan Fowler