Sheffield Eagles will be without new signing Liam Cooper as they get their Championship Shield campaign underway against Oldham on Sunday.
Cooper was one of three loan signings made before the deadline from dual-registration partners St Helens, but he looks set to be sidelined alongside second-rower Will Hope who has a shoulder problem. Veteran centre Menzie Yere is another doubt as he continues to manage a knee issue, whilst winger Ben Blackmore serves the second game of a two match ban.
“Liam Cooper is out because he got injured playing for St Helens Reserves” director Mark Aston said.
“He won’t be right for a week or two but certainly Jonah Cunningham and Calvin Wellington are busting a gut to be in the team, and are really trying to impress. I brought them here to have a look at them, so there is every opportunity for them to get the nod on Sunday.
“Menzie Yere is struggling with his knee again, but we hope that he will be fine. Most of the others are okay, Ben Blackmore is still banned so he misses out. We are also still waiting on Will Hope who might not be quite right for this week, but should be fine for the week after.”
Eagles return to action following a mini-break. After a disappointing end to the regular season, which saw Aston’s side beaten by Dewsbury Rams, the Eagles chief is pinning his belief in the break re-charging his side’s batteries ahead of the visit of the struggling Roughyeds.
“I am hoping a week off has freshened them up,” Aston said. “We put them through a tough session at the start of the week which was essential after having a few days away, and they looked fresh and have benefited from some time away. They are eager to get back into the firing line. It has been a long slog from November to August, playing week in and week out.”