Depleted Eagles are challenged to play ‘smart’ game at Wildcats

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston will give run outs to his new signings in tonight’s friendly at Wakefield.

Aston’s hand has been forced by suspensions to four of last season’s regulars and injuries to Mitch Stringer and Dane McDonald. But he wants the new recruits to shine in the pre-season warm-up game with the Wildcats.

“These are smart players we’ve got together in the squad and I’ll be telling them to go out and show me that at Wakefield,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to see all the new lads.”

With Quentin Laulu-Togagae, and Misi Taulapapa who are serving one-match bans following incidents in last season’s Championship Grand Final, Aston could start new signing from Dewsbury Scott Turner at full back. Also banned are Menzie Yere and Joe Hirst.

Tonight’s game (kick-off 7.45pm) is part of a deal that took prop Liam Higgins to Wakefield last season. Doncaster lad Higgins has now rejoined the Eagles and will be in the line-up tonight.

It will be a first game for Eagles new assistant coach Dave Larder who has replaced Mick Cook. Larder played for the Eagles in the 2000 season.