Aston freshens up squad for home game

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PROP forward Ryan Hepworth will come into Sheffield Eagles team as coach Mark Aston shuffles his pack.

Aston is lining up several changes for the first home game of the season against Whitehaven on Sunday (3pm.)

It’s part of his policy of giving as many member of the squad game time during the group stages of the Northern Rail Cup.

“We didn’t play pre-season friendlies and I need to get the lads out there and playing,” he said. “Ryan will come in and there will be other changes. A lot depends on how people are going in training.”

Young forwards Eddie Battye, who has played one senior game, and Dan Hawksworth who is awaiting his senior debut, are also in the mix.

The visit of Whitehaven offers a chance to try out the new players before the tough trip to Leigh Centurions.

Aston has fewer options in the backs as he waits for the Samoan stars Misi Taulapapa and Quentin Laulu-Togagae to get their UK entry visa.

He is hoping that dual registration signings Kyle Wood and Jamie Cording could be released by their parent club Huddersfield Giants for Sunday. If Wood is unavailable Dane McDonald will continue as stand-off.

Last weekend in the 32-20 win at Gateshead Thunder Aston gave debuts to hooker Pat Smith and forwards Liam Higgins and Scott Watson.

Whitehaven lost 28-18 to Workington Town in their opening game of the competition on Tuesday.