Sheffield Eagles: Aston to return in vital clash

Cory Aston

Cory Aston

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Sheffield Eagles will welcome back half-back Cory Aston as they look to secure their place in the middle eights by avoiding defeat to Featherstone Rovers tomorrow (4.15pm).

Aston returns to the squad after completing a two-match ban for his red card in the defeat to Leigh, as the Eagles look to continue their impressive form at the Keepmoat, where they have lost just once all season.

Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston should receive a further boost with prop Tony Tonks and influential second-rower Michael Knowles both set to be included after shaking off knocks in training.

“Tony Tonks had picked up a knock to his ankle and Michael Knowles has felt his back, but both will be fit,” Aston confirmed to The Star.

“We have the likes of Cory, Patch Walker and Jamie Langley all available to us which is also good news. The lads are all up for it and they are fighting for places, everyone is raring to go.”

After victory over Bradford last week, the Eagles know they are almost guaranteed a place in the end of season promotion showdown. Aston’s side inflicted only a third league defeat this season on the Bulls, and the Eagles’ chief is looking for his troops to hit those heights again against fifth placed Featherstone.

“After last week we really raised the bar to a different level which is what I wanted to see at this time of the year, and we need to maintain that,” Aston insisted.

“Anything less will not be good enough and that is what I have been saying to them all this week. We went up a notch last week, we showed we can compete against anybody at this level, and overall I think the first 60 minutes was the proudest I have been of the team in the last 16 years.”

Featherstone come into the game knowing that they need a win to take qualification for the middle eight down to the last game.

The Eagles beat them heavily at Post Office Road earlier in the campaign, and Aston is firmly focusing on his side rather that the expected ‘gung ho’ attitude of their opponents.

“There is no doubt that they will come out and have a right dig at us,” he added.

“For me it has nothing to do with what Featherstone might bring, it is about Sheffield Eagles, as a team, going out there and repeating the outstanding performance from last week.”

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