SHEFFIELD EAGLES: Mark Aston focus on Leigh clash as he rests stars for French trip

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston is set to give some of his top first team regulars a weekend off.

Eagles travel to play French league and cup winners Carcassone in the Anglo-French Challenge game next Saturday.

But for Aston taking priority over the mid-season ‘goodwill’ tournament is Championship points at Leigh Centurions the following Thursday.

Aston wants to keep his experienced players fit and rested after wins against Dewsbury and Batley lifted the team back into the top three.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks and against Batley we asked the lads to empty the tanks,” he said.

“We have a weekend in France where we will utilise the squad because we have a massive game at Leigh the Thursday after.

“I won’t be asking lots of the guys to back up the game in France and then Leigh with all the messing about of the travelling.

“I will leave a few people at home. I hope that I can take a few of the younger players that I need to have a look at.”

A win at Leigh would cement Eagles’ revival and avenge a narrow 34-32 defeat at Don Valley early this month.

Aston added: “We owe Leigh after what they did to us at Don Valley and I want the players fit and rested.”

The experienced forwards could be first on the list to be given a weekend off. Back rower Michael Knowles picked up a knee injury in the win over Batley and hooker Andrew Henderson has a broken nose.

Those first teamers who missed the Batley game played for the reserves against Halifax on Saturday.

Aston will decide his squad for Carcassone tonight with new signing utility back Jack Latus and forwards Sam Williamson and Eddie Battye, if he has shaken off an ankle injury, among those likely to get the call.