Big selection quandary for Eagles coach

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SHEFFIELD Eagles boss Mark Aston must solve a selection puzzle before naming his team for the game against Widnes Vikings.

His focus will be on backs with new signing Quentin Laulu-Togagae certain to make his debut 48 hours after flying in from Australia.

After that, Aston faces a headache with centre Menzie Yere suspended and uncertainty about the availability of dual-registration players.

Centre Jason Crookes and winger or fullback Vinny Finigan were added to the squad on dual registration deals from Bradford Bulls in midweek but only one is in line to face Widnes.

Finigan is ruled out with an ankle injury and Aston has to wait and see if Crookes came through a Bulls reserve game last night without injury.

Back rower Jamie Cording has been called back by Huddersfield and it isn’t certain if half-back Kyle Wood will be released by the Giants.

Aston said: “One of the problems with dual registrations is that you don’t know if you have the players until leading up to the game – we have to live with that.”

Sunday’s game marks the Eagles return to Bramall Lane. Club officials see the move to Sheffield United’s ground as key to reviving interest in rugby league in the city.

Widnes are the favourites to be awarded a franchise to play in the Super League from 2013. New coach Denis Betts knows his team needs to justify that decision with a big final season in the Championship. The Eagles’ problems in the backs will be highlighted by the return of centre Tangi Ropati who scored 27 tries in two seasons for the Eagles before joining the Vikings.

Widnes have proved to be Eagles bogey side, winning all four meetings last year.