SHEFFIELD Eagles long-distance commuter Tom Armstrong is clocking up the miles and the tries.
The centre makes the trip across the Pennines three times a week for training and is out ahead with six tries in seven games this season.
The smooth way Armstong has settled into the team after signing from Swinton Lions is a massive bonus for coach Mark Aston.
“You can see why the kid played with St Helens in the Super League,” he said. “Tom’s a quality player who gets on about his business and is great for us. I enjoy working with him and he’s fitted in great. When it’s like that you get the best out of someone.”
The centre’s tries have played a big part in the Eagles six-match winning run which they aim to extend at Hunslet Hawks on Sunday.
Armstrong was part of the St Helens squad that made the 2011 Super League Grand Final but the following season opted to join Swinton and study at Manchester University.
He scored 13 tries in a struggling Lions team before the prospect of joining the Championship Grand Final winners lured him away.
“When you’re asked to play for the Champions you take it,” he said. “It’s really good at Sheffield. I live in St Helens and do petroleum engineering at Manchester University.
“I rack up a few miles driving to training but if you’re enjoying your rugby you’ll do that.”
Armstrong’s determination to follow up any opening helped him to a crucial try just before half time in the win over Featherstone.
When Rovers’ Tommy Saxton slipped and missed a chip kick Armstrong was in.
“You make your own luck,” said Aston. “If you put the ball in the right place you have a chance and you never give in and that’s the thing about Tom – he never gives in.”