Eagles prepare to confront the old brigade

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SHEFFIELD Eagles face their ‘old boys club’ when they take the field against York City Knights tomorrow.

Coach Mark Aston knows what to expect as he sets the game plan for the club’s first game of the season at Bramall Lane.

Playmaker Simon Brown made the move to York last year and partnering him at half-back is another ex-Eagle player Jonny Presley. “They have players we know well,” said Aston. “Simon Brown is one of the best kickers in the competition and will be keen to prove a point. Johnny has played at the highest level and can score tries.”

Brown’s skill at ‘bossing’ a game was a key factor in the Eagles surge to their Championship Grand Final victory last season.

Aston added: “I expect a good kicking game; Mr Brown can certainly put the ball in the right areas. Simon did a great job when he was at Eagles. He ‘managed’ the team and took them around the field. He did things like I did when I played. He was a great player for us, we were disappointed when he left and he might be disappointed he left.”

Back rower Sam Scott joined Brown in moving to York at the end of last season but is having tests on a back injury.

Try-scoring centre James Ford has missed the last two games and is hopeful of a return from injury against his old club. Jack Latus, who was with the Eagles reserves last season, is in the backs.

York took an early lead against Halifax in the last round but lost 18-14 to go down to their third defeat in four games.

Their final 17 will depend on which players are available on dual registration from Super League club Hull FC.