Injury worries for Eagles

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Sheffield Eagles are facing mounting early season injury problems with new signing Will Hope the latest to join the casualty list.

The back row forward, on a season-long loan from Salford Red Devils, came off after 11 minutes of the defeat by Barrow at Owlerton last Sunday.

Hope has suspected knee ligament damage and left the ground on crutches.

Coach Mark Aston said: “He will need a scan and he’ll struggle for next weekend.”

Back rower Duane Straugheir should be back in training this week but prop Eddie Battye, who added aggression to the front row last season, is still in rehab following foot surgery.

Hooker James Davey has dislocated a finger and regular number 13 Joe Hirst needs shoulder surgery.

The team face a tough trip to Halifax next and it’s hoped experienced prop forward Ben Jones will be fit after missing the return to Owlerton Stadium with an ankle injury.

The squad in the 24-18 defeat by Barrow included two 20-year-old front row forwards in Connor Scott and Jack Blagbrough.

The injury to Hope drastically reduced Aston’s forward interchange options with winger Misi Taulapapa switched to loose forward.

“We should have covered that,” said Aston. Misi, whatever position I put him in, gives me what I want and was outstanding. Connor Scott in his second spell grew in stature but two or three were away from the mark.”

New signing Lelauloto Tagaloa should join the squad later this month.

Eagles’ third round Tetley’s Challenge Cup game against East Leeds will be at Owlerton on Sunday, March 16, kick-off 2pm.