Sheffield Eagles and Doncaster have confirmed that the two clubs will be sharing the Keepmoat Stadium next season.
The Eagles are moving away from Owlerton Stadium, where they played in 2014, to share with the Dons before their new stadium becomes available, hopefully in 2016.
The matches will take place as double headers on Sunday afternoons throughout next season. Doncaster’s games will kick off at 2pm, with the Eagles following on at 4:15pm.
“It’s a great stadium and one we have really enjoyed playing at,” Sheffield Eagles head coach and chief executive Mark Aston said.
“It’s a little disappointing that we are not in Sheffield but I hope and know that the people of Sheffield will understand. It’s for 12 months, after which point we hope the new stadium will be up and running and we’ll be back in Sheffield.
“It’s a fantastic facility and we will be able to play the sort of football we enjoy playing. Get behind us and let’s get on this journey.”
The deal was also welcomed by the hierarchy at Doncaster. Doncaster Rovers soccer club and the Doncaster Belles womens soccer team also play at the facility.
“We were approached by Sheffield about the possibility of a ground share and have spent a vast amount of time considering the proposal,” Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall said.
Our main concern was ensuring that the pitch wouldn’t suffer from the extra matches taking place and, having taken advice from some of the top people in grounds maintenance, we’ve been assured that it will not.
“With Doncaster being the hub of rugby league for South Yorkshire in 2015, we’re hopeful that this agreement can help increase the knowledge of rugby league in the area and help generate new fans of the sport locally.”
Chief executive of Club Doncaster, Gavin Baldwin added: “The deal is great news for Doncaster and further highlights the excellent facilities we have at Keepmoat Stadium – there is real demand to use this facility.
“The revenues generated from this agreement will be used to improve activities across Club Doncaster, which includes playing budgets and the visitor experience.
“As we know, rugby league matches mainly fall at a time when the grass is actively growing and therefore the pitch has a quicker recovery time between games.
“Having consulted with our own ground staff, we’ve been assured that having the additional matches played as ‘double headers’ will not only be a great spectacle for the fans but also have no impact on the rest days between pitch usage.”