Sheffield Eagles continue to accelerate their close season recruitment drive after completing the signing of Ben Blackmore from Featherstone Rovers.
The winger has agreed a two-year contract with the Eagles and becomes director of rugby Mark Aston’s 10th arrival during a demanding period of squad strengthening.
Blackmore will compete for a place in the side with wingers Rob Worrincy and Ryan Millar, plus fellow new arrival Gary Lo as Aston looks to put the finishing touches to his squad ahead of the season curtain raiser against Workington Town on February 7.
“He is a big, strong athlete who is quick,” Aston told The Star of his latest recruit.
“He has played against the best; I think he scored a couple of tries in Super League against St Helens where he showed his class at finishing.
“His arrival gives us four wingers now that are all try scorers, but can Ben play in other positions? Yes is the answer.
“We have young Ryan Millar there as well who has scored five tries in two games, and we have also got Gary Lo coming in who scored 26 tries in the Queensland Cup. Rob got 16 last season and we know that Ben Blackmore will always score, so they have all got tries in them.”
At 22 Blackmore is another who is still young but he does boast experience at the top level after starting his career with his hometown club Castleford Tigers. He has enjoyed spells with Huddersfield Giants, Doncaster and Batley Bulldogs before signing for fellow Championship side Featherstone Rovers in 2014. Last season he scored 15 tries in 23 appearances before joining the Eagles and signing up to the new look full-time roster.
Aston has concentrated his recruitment in the main on youngsters who have showed potential to succeed at a higher level, and Blackmore is one of a raft of new faces who he believes still has the right ingredients to succeed in the game.
“Ben has played at Super League level and I firmly believe that he has the potential to get back to that level,” Aston beamed.
“He is at the right age and it is very exciting for me to be talking about players like Ben Blackmore, Gary Lo, Dave Hewitt, Cory Aston, George Tyson and Matty Fozard. These lads are around 19 to 22 years old and they have the potential to be together for a long time.”