Sheffield Eagles are still on the hunt to strengthen their squad, with the full-back area high on director Mark Aston’s wishlist.
Eagles have chopped and changed personnel in the full-back position this season, as Aston looks for a solution to filling the void left by Quentin Laulu-Togagae.
After five years with the Eagles ‘QLT’ opted to join emerging Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack, leaving Aston with a dilemma of who should replace one of his most consistent performers.
Dane Chisholm has filled in admirably, whilst Ben Blackmore and Ryan Millar have also been utilised in the key position. A long-term solution remains unanswered with Aston not ruling out covering with a loan signing or by calling on the support of Leigh Centurions under the dual-registration agreement.
“In the first round, and the friendlies, we were found a bit wanting in that area” Aston said. “It has certainly been an area where we need to strengthen, but we are delighted that Dane has filled it for now. I must stress for now because Dane is someone that we would like in at half-back as well. We are looking all the time to strengthen in those kind of areas as well.”
Aston admits that compensating for QLT’s all round game has been difficult. He has rung the changes during the opening three rounds of the Championship season.
“You have got to be really fit to play at full-back and I think that you take it for granted what we have had for the last six years with QLT,” he added.
“He was a champion, not only did he score tries, but it was the little things that he did that used to go unnoticed.
“I’ve spoken to Ben Blackmore and to Ryan Millar, and to be a full-back you have got to have authority. You have to be a good communicator. I remember a part of the game against Toulouse when Dane Chisholm physically threw someone across the other side of the ruck. That is what you have got to have as a full-back.”
The Eagles suffered their second defeat out of three games against Halifax last weekend, and face Batley at Belle Vue this Sunday.