Sheffield Eagles: Aston has a French fancy for fresh talent

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has used the break in the fixture calendar to undertake a scouting mission to France.

With the conclusion of Reece Dean’s loan from Toronto Wolfpack and the expected departure of Dane Chisholm, Aston has room for manoeuvre as he looks to boost his options at the half-way stage of the regular season.

The Eagles weren’t in action last weekend because of the Challenge Cup, so Aston flew to France where talks were held with potential new recruits as he looks to plug the gaps in his improving team.

“I took in the French Championship Cup semi-final between Limoux and Lezignan,” Aston, pictured, told The Star.

“There are a couple of players over there that we have an interest in. I have had a couple of coffees with some players to get a feel for them and see what they want to do.

“It is important to get an understanding of what they can bring to us. As much as people might have thought I was on holiday, it is a working trip and there is no better place than France.”

Aston has a long-standing association with French rugby league dating back to his playing days, plus the club have a relationship with Limoux through former chairman Ian Swire.

Aston has again called upon his contacts, including ex-Sheffield players Frederic Teixido and Jean-Marc Garcia, as he looks to inject some new blood to compensate for recent losses.

“We obviously know Frederic Teixido who played for us in 1999 and he is still heavily involved at Limoux,” Aston added.

“I have a lot of time for him. We are still close friends. And I also met with Jean-Marc Garcia as well for a glass of wine.”