Injury-hit Eagles consider calling up youngsters

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston has put his teenage reserves on standby for the midweek trip to top-of-the-league Featherstone Rovers.

Key players are doubtful after a bruising clash at Leigh and there is uncertainty over dual-registration loan players being released by their Super League clubs. Loose forward Joe Hirst pulled up with a hamstring strain at Leigh and half-back Simon Brown was knocked out late in the second half.

Quentin Laulu-Togagae missed the game with a hamstring injury and the three face a battle to be fit for the Rovers game.

“We are busted up and it’s a quick turnaround for Thursday at Featherstone but we’ll get a squad together,” said Aston. “When someone goes down one of the young kids comes through – Corey Hanson, Eddie Battye and Connor Scott didn’t play at Leigh and it might be that they come in or there’s a debut for somebody else in the squad.”

Those players give Aston cover at centre and in the forwards but his worries are at half-back with Huddersfield Giants refusing to release Kyle Wood for the last two games. That uncertainty is a frustration for Aston as the Eagles face the second of four straight away games. He said: “I’m past caring about dual reg players, it they are available I’ll make a decision then whether to play them. We’ll look at the injured lads over the next couple of days. Simon Brown should be all right, he got a bit of bang to the head but it’s a physical game.”

The 14 teams that will make up the Super League for the next three seasons from 2012 will be announced at lunchtime today.