Sheffield Eagles: French chance for fringe men to stake a claim

Rugby League: News, reports and more.

Rugby League: News, reports and more.

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PLAYERS who have been struggling to break into the first team get the chance to give a reminder to coach Mark Aston tonight.

Aston will put out a much-changed team against Carcassonne in the Anglo-French Challenge game at the Stade Albert Domec, this evening (kick-off 6pm UK time).

His thinking has been dominated by the need to keep key players fit with a tough league game at Leigh Centurions on Thursday night.

Six regular members of the forward pack have not made the trip and that opens the way for props Alex Rowe, Ryan Hepworth and hooker Pat Smith.

Rowe has been out of the first team since the Eagles last trip to South-West France for the Challenge Cup game at Catalan Dragons.

Smith has had an even longer wait, last playing in the earlier Cup round against amateurs Oulton Raiders.

Aston said: “It’s a chance for some people to get game time at a good level.

“Carcassone won the French Cup and they’ll be a tough test. It’s been difficult for some of the lads to get in the first team because we’ve been playing well recently.”

Carcassone – nicknamed the Canaries – beat Pia to take the Lord Derby Trophy and make it a Cup and League double. But they may be without some of their Australian players for tonight’s game.

Back-rower Sam Scott will be hoping to get a chance and joining him on the bench could be one of the two young reserves Aston has included in a 19-man squad. Nathan Walmsley’s ability to cover at hooker or half-back could edge him ahead of back =rower Leigh Sanders.

Full-back or winger Jack Latus, who joined from rugby union at Leeds last month, could also get a chance.

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