Familiar foes lie in wait for Sheffield Eagles

Mark AstonMark Aston
Mark Aston
It will be a case of friends reunited for Sheffield Eagles tomorrow as a host of familiar faces lie in wait against Featherstone Rovers.

The Eagles mini-tour to start the 2018 campaign ends at Post Office Road, with Mark Aston’s side finally starting their home campaign against London on March 4.

Aston would love to begin the return to Sheffield with points in the bag, but knows all too well the size of the task awaiting, after coaching several members of the current Featherstone crop.

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“They have players we know well in Scott Wheeldon, Keal Carlile, John Davies and Misi Taulapapa,” coach Aston explained.

“I know first hand just how good they are. They will be on their game, but it is a great challenge for us.

“When you can also use players like (Martin) Ridyard and (Gareth) Hock, then you have got to be going places. They are very strong they have been playing really well. They had a smack in the chops last weekend, so they’ll be firing again for this weekend. The quality is there for all to see.”

After confirming Matty James and Nabil Djalout are back in contention, Aston also expects to have St Helens trio James Bentley, Jake Spedding and Matty Lees available, but there is a doubt over winger Garry Lo, while Josh Toole and Menzie Yere are almost certainly out.

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“Garry Lo picked up an injury last week, so we need to keep an eye on him,” Aston added.

“James Bentley, Jake Spedding and Matty Lees should all be available. Matty was included in Saints’ 19-man squad, but has then been made available to us.

“It is a great boost to him because his performances for us have been noticed. Jack Ashworth is four weeks away, so it is just whether we’ll look at anyone else now from that neck of the woods.

“It might be a week early for Joshua (Toole). We are thinking that the weekend after is a more realistic target for him. He is desperate to play. It will be his call at the end of the day.

“He has chipped a bone. It is nothing too serious so it shouldn’t be too long before he returns.”