Rugby: Sheffield Eagles chief Mark Aston excited over link-up with Super League giants

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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The consistency of players being made available from St Helens is already bearing fruit for Sheffield Eagles, says director of rugby Mark Aston.

Two weeks into their new dual-registration agreement and the Eagles have had the services of Jake Spedding and Greg Richards for their games against Hull KR and Swinton.

Aston was also given the added bonus of Danny Richardson last weekend, who was instrumental in guiding the Eagles to a narrow victory over the Lions.

With the extra bodies giving his side the required shot in the arm, Aston is now confident that if he can secure the same faces on a regular basis, they could find the elusive stability which has blighted their campaign.

“We threw them in at the deep end against Hull KR and they responded,” Aston said of both Spedding and Richards.

“They had one training session with us and then it was into the game scenario.”

“We got Jake and Greg again last week which was great because they get to understand a little more about us and the way we play,” Aston added.

“That’s the big thing isn’t it, the consistency. The continuity of the players being made available will only help the consistency. If we can keep this flow of getting players week in, week out, then it will hugely benefit us and St Helens.”

The impact of Richardson was reciprocated in the stats. The half-back kicked seven goals and scored a try on debut, whilst he was also instrumental in Jack Owens’ first-half score.

That kind of impact can also be counter productive as St Helens coach Justin Holbrook looks set to include Richardson in his squad for their Friday night clash with Hull FC, as Matty Smith continues to be sidelined with an eye problem.

Whatever happens with Richardson, Aston again looks set to be guaranteed the bodies he craves, and he admits the increased numbers have also given him extra scope on the training field.

“We have got numbers now,” he adds.

“We have 20 plus players on the training field suddenly. It means that we can face up against each other, we get more detail into our preparation and we haven’t had that all year. It certainly makes it a lot better in several ways.

“These lads who’ve come here want to play. They are excited to be here, playing, challenging, and having game time on a regular basis.”