Featherstone Rovers three-quarter leaves for rivals

Kris Welham has joined Sheffield Eagles on a one-year deal.

The experienced outside back has played in the most prestigious games in the first and second tier of European Rugby League over the past three seasons; featuring for Salford in their Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final and in last year’s Million Pound Game for Featherstone. 

Before his moves to Salford and Featherstone, Welham enjoyed ten seasons with Hull KR from 2006-2015 and also a brief spell at Bradford. Now the centre is looking forward to a new start in South Yorkshire.

“I am very happy to be at the club, especially after coming to the end of my contract at Featherstone,” said Welham.

“I wanted to play at another good club with high standards. 

“When Mark (Aston) showed his interest in myself, and I went to meet him in person, he said all the right things about his ambitions for the club. 

“It was a no-brainer for me.”

With Welham’s knowledge of the game, he has already spoken to Aston about mentoring some of the younger players within the outside backs to help them progress. 

“It (mentoring) will come natural but Tubbs did mention it when I was speaking to him,” he added.

“With myself and Keith Senior, who I looked up to when I was playing, we have experience at the club and I have played against some of the young lads this year.

“Tubbs has got ambition for them, with the right coaching and guidance, and if I can chip in with anything along the way then that’s job done for myself.” 

Many would think a permanent return to the city, at the Olympic Legacy Park, is success in itself for the Eagles.

However, Welham isn’t resting on his laurels and he hasn’t underestimated the importance of a big debut year for himself and the club.

Discussing the Steel City comeback, he said: “It’s exciting, not just for the players but for the people of Sheffield and fans and sponsors of the club,”

“Finally getting back into Sheffield, playing out of our own stadium in the city, will be massive.

“I’m just a small cog in that and if I can play my part in any success – whether that be in the league or 1895 Cup – I’ll be happy with that.” 

Director of Rugby Mark Aston is delighted to bring a player of Welham’s calibre to the club, saying: “It’s massive for the club,” 

“Kris has played at the highest level and he has been at Featherstone in the last 12 months. 

“His experience will be invaluable. One of the things we always talk about is that players can mentor each other.

“Kris will certainly do that and it’ll help the likes of Ryan Johnson. He has good pedigree, a good attitude and he is a great bloke – he certainly fits the culture.” 

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