Dual blow as Eagles lose key players

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LOAN players Kyle Wood and Jamie Cording will miss Sheffield Eagles’ trip to Batley Bulldogs.

The duo, on dual-registration deals, have been called back by their parent club, Huddersfield Giants, as cover over the Easter matches.

The loss of Wood means the break up of the half-back partnership with Simon Brown that has been a key a factor in recent games.

It sets coach Mark Aston a selection poser which could see a major re-modelling of the backs as the Eagles go for five straight wins in the Championship.

“There’s always a concern that loan players will be pulled back but there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Aston.

“If we don’t have Kyle Wood and Jamie Cording someone else will stand up and fill the gap.”

Aston could turn to utility man Dane McDonald who started the season at stand-off or move Samoan international Quentin Laulu-Togagae from fullback.

The loss of back rower Cording is less of a problem with plenty of forward cover in the squad. The club’s two other dual-reg players, centre Jason Crookes and winger Vinny Finigan, from Bradford Bulls, are expected to be available.

Eagles will go into the game at Mount Pleasant, on Monday, with the advantage of only playing once over the Easter holiday.

Batley played local rivals in a bruising game last night and their coach Karl Harrison is checking on the fitness of several players.

The Bulldogs pack will challenge the Eagles forwards and hooker George Flannigan has made a big impact on his return following a two-year drugs ban.

Aston said: “Batley will be battled and bruised from the Dewsbury game but Karl Harrison’s teams are well motivated. You can’t take for granted that backing up from Thursday to Monday will have an effect; teams have to cope with playing twice over the Easter weekend.”

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