Signing of Briggs is first step for Eagles

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The signing of Kyle Briggs is the first step in a rebuilding programme as Sheffield Eagles look to next season.

Coach Mark Aston has identified possible targets for 2015 and is set to move when the signing deadline passes.

“Kyle won’t be the first,” Aston said. “It’s a steady process. We’re not allowed to go for people (under contract) until September but we have people we are looking at.”

Briggs, signed from Featherstone Rovers, made his debut in the 24-16 win over North Wales Crusaders which ended a run of three defeats.

The Eagles have struggled this season to recapture the consistent form that brought back-to-back Championship titles.

It’s been difficult to replace experience players with Aston turning to loan players and young reserves: “We’re rebuilding. We lost four senior players this year, quality players and you can’t replace them,” he said.

With hooker Andrew Henderson, who combined playing with youth development, joining London Broncos as assistant coach the backroom staff also face a shake-up.

Aston is likely to be targeting cover in the back row and at centre, after becoming increasingly concerned that some players are not reaching the standards set.

Some experienced members of the squad are out of contract this season and the final eight league games - starting with Sunday’s trip to Barrow - may be critical if they are to earn a new deal.

Aston added: “Players should fight to stay here. I want to see people do that. I want to see people who stand up and make sure they cement a contract for next year. There are plenty of people here who are talented and have been around a year or two and have been successful.

“They need to look at the man in the mirror and if they are out of contract, earn one.”