Prop forward Steve Thorpe was forced to fly back Down Under on Saturday due to a complication with his visa, but has spent less than a week in his native country and will fly back to the UK today.
It isn’t an ideal situation for Thorpe, especially given that his partner landed in London yesterday to spend Christmas with him.
However, Eagles boss Mark Aston explains the mix-up was no fault of either Thorpe or the club.
He joked: “He got himself a quick flight home to top his tan back up. He was looking a bit white. There was a complication with his visa, which was nothing to do with him. It was the company he employed to make sure he didn’t make a mistake which messed up.
“We found out very late from the Rugby Football League, so had to get him on a plane as soon as possible. Luckily, he’s managed to get it all sorted fairly quickly and will land back in the UK on Saturday morning. There was a bit of a panic because his girlfriend has just arrived and the worry was that he would have been in Australia for Christmas and she would have been over here, which would have been ridiculous.
“Steve is a very professional young man who we want in and around the place, so it is a relief it’s all resolved.”
The rest of the Eagles squad has taken part in a two-day training camp, something Aston believes will be a valuable experience as the new season approaches.
He continued: “It was a very worthwhile weekend. There was a lot of variety, some yoga, some spinning with Nick Ward (fitness coach) and obviously the attacking and defensive work.
“We touched on the goals and expectations for the season. They know what we expect, they’ve known that from the first meeting at the start of November, and now they set their own targets to achieve that.”
Aston also confirmed that York City Knights coach and former Eagles player James Ford had made contact with him about the possibility of playing a pre-season friendly, but talks have gone no further. The club currently do not have any pre-season matches arranged.