Sheffield Eagles: Aston faces tough decision over Etu’s play-off role

Etu Uaisele
Etu Uaisele
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Sheffield Eagles could be without try-scoring centre Etu Uaisele for their Championship play-off semi-final against Featherstone Rovers.

The Tongan international is on loan from Rovers and wasn’t allowed to face his old club in the league game last month.

He has scored eight tries in as many games for the Eagles in a winning surge that has taken them to within 80 minutes of a fourth successive Grand Final.

With the league season over, and Uaisele joining Bradford next year, it’s not clear if he can play at the Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.

Naming him in the 17 would be controversial but coach Mark Aston is tempted and a final decision is set to be delayed until just before the kick-off.

Eagles small squad is already stretched as they bid to retain the Championship title they have held for the last two seasons.

Hooker James Davey missed the win at Doncaster with a knee injury with Cory Aston coming into the squad.

Skipper Mitch Stringer is being nursed through games with a cartilage problem and is due to have surgery when the season ends.

With the semi-final in mind Aston gave several players time off the field in the second half of the 58-24 win at Doncaster. Several players are carrying minor injuries but the chance to reach a Grand Final means it’s a motivated squad.

He said: “The fortunate thing was I was able to fetch off a few. It’s the end of season and you have to ‘manage’ players and give them a bit more time to recover if you can.

“Tom Lillycrop and Cory Aston came into the team (at Doncaster) and Jack Blagbrough and Tom Ashton are ready if needed. We haven’t got a massive squad but the lads want to be on a big stage.”