Eagles facing Aston’s boyhood team in cup tie

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DANE McDonald could make a surprise return to Sheffield Eagles team in the Challenge Cup third round tomorrow.

The loose-forward or stand-off had major shoulder surgery early this year and has not played since the Championship Grand Final last October.

McDonald is back in training but has done limited contact work and will have a fitness test which could be crucial in deciding if he faces amateurs Oulton Raiders.

There are likely to be other changes with a league game against Halifax, who like the Eagles, have won both their Championship games, next Thursday.

South Leeds club Oulton play in the top tier of the amateur game but the Eagles should have too much strength and firepower.

The Eagles have scored 17 tries in the last two league games but Aston isn’t happy with some of the defending and is likely to set the target of a clean sheet against the club where he played until aged 13.

“Oulton will be a little bit worried about when we play smart but they will also see a chance to score some tries because we were mentally soft in some key areas of our game,” said Aston.

Prop forward Alex Rowe and utility back Scott Turner, who has yet to make his competitive debut played in the reserves last week and are near a call up.

Definitely out is winger Tim Bergin who suffered a setback in his bit to recover from groin strain.

The Cup tie is being played at Wakefield Wildcats stadium tomorrow, kick-off 3pm with the winner going into the fourth round draw and the chance of a game against a Super League club.

The Eagles played Oulton at the same stage of the competition in 2003 winning 22-8. Current joint first team coach Mark Longley played in that game and says his team face a massive challenge.