Sheffield Eagles may add new faces to freshen up squad
For the first time this season Sheffield Eagles are looking into the possibility of adding faces to their ranks as injuries, suspensions and dips in form begin to bite.
Whilst director of rugby Mark Aston added quality to his ranks during the close season, the 51-year-old remained conscious of the side effects a potential injury crises would have on his relatively small squad.
Centre Jason Crookes now looks set for several weeks on the sidelines following a dislocated shoulder sustained in victory over Dewsbury, whilst youngster Blake Broadbent begins a two-match suspension following his dismissal at Featherstone.
Brad Knowles also has a suspension looming, whilst Aston has also acknowledged a dip in some individuals following a blistering start to the campaign.
“We'll have a look at something this week,” Aston confirmed to The Star.
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“We need to try and nail down a couple of things because we are a little bit short now.
“People are starting to come out of the honeymoon period and come off the rails slightly, so you have to pull them out and say sit down and watch this week. That's what we'll do. Blake Broadbent is suspended now, we'll need others to stand up.”
Aston is still yet to call upon the likes of Lewis Taylor and Louis Sheriff, but both are inexperienced at the level.
The Eagles chief could yet rubber stamp a dual-registration deal with a Super League side, something that look set to go ahead at the start of the campaign, but was put on ice following the impressive start to 2019.
Aston’s side are still looking in great shape, they sit third with only one defeat to their name, but the experienced coach knows if he loses any more key members of the calibre of Crookes, it could quickly make life difficult for his new look side.
“It could be six to eight weeks out for Jason which is disappointing for the lad,” he added.
“Hopefully the shoulder has gone back in okay and it might be less but it doesn't look good. It is still quite early, we’ll see how he goes over the next couple of weeks.
“We need to stick together, and work hard as a group. We are starting to lose one or two, but others may get a chance to come in now.”
Meanwhile, a date of Sunday 31st March (3pm) has been confirmed for the Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Leigh at the OLP.