From climbing telegraph poles to facing the world champions: Sheffield Eagles star’s unique day

Drew Darbyshire
James Glover Sheffield Eagles

Photo courtesy of Sheffield Eagles

Sheffield Eagles ace James Glover was climbing telegraph poles in his day job on Friday morning. Later that night, he faced world champions Wigan Warriors in the Challenge Cup.

As they often say, rugby league is a funny old game.

Glover and his Sheffield side dared to dream as they made the trip across the Pennines to face reigning Super League champions Wigan, who were crowned World Club champions less than a month ago.

The Eagles made a good fist of it, with the score being level at 12-12 at half-time, before the Warriors pulled away in the second half to secure a 44-18 victory and their spot in Monday’s draw for the quarter-finals.

“I climb telegraph poles for a living, and play the world champions at night.. It’s not something you do every day is it?!” Glover told Love Rugby League.

“My day started at half seven and I managed to get away from work a bit earlier, I was on the (team) bus at around half three. It was a usual day.. Get up, go to work, sit back for a bit and then play the world champions. A very strange day!

“Apart from Jai Field, they had a full side out. Where I work in Doncaster a lot of people don’t really know rugby league so when I was talking to them – a lot of them are football fans – so I said ‘to put it into context, it’s like a part-time team going play Man City’ and they were like ‘shut up, really?!’ and I was like ‘I swear on my life’.

“I said everybody is going to be writing us off saying we’ve got no chance. Before the game we were thinking we’ll just give it a go and see what happens and at half-time we were right in it, but it just got away from us in the end.”

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James Glover ‘really proud’ of Sheffield Eagles’ gutsy effort against Wigan Warriors

Just like they were when they stunned Wigan in the 1998 Challenge Cup final, Sheffield were massive outsiders to win at the DW Stadium, and although they didn’t cause an upset, they were good value.

“It’s not everyday you get to do it and there’s a very slim chance you’ll get the opportunity to do it again, so you’ve just got to take your chance,” Glover told Love Rugby League.

“We came here with nothing to lose, I think at half-time it was a pretty close game, 12-all and nothing in it, I think we probably rattled them a bit in that first half.

“I think that 10-minute period just after half-time probably killed us off, they got a couple of tries then and then we were chasing it a bit. But I’m really proud, I think everyone will be pretty proud of that.

“It’s not just a 40-minute performance is it? Everybody looks at the end result, not at the half-time result, but we can take a lot of positives out of that back to the league next week.”

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