Sheffield Eagles: Greg Burns challenged to kick on after signing new deal for 2020 season
Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has laid down the challenge to hooker Greg Burns after the academy graduate penned a new one-year deal.
Burns was the last figure from Aston’s class of 2019 still to have his future decided, but the Eagles chief has now tied down the 24-year-old for next season.
Aston has options at nine with Burns set to battle with James Davey and new signing Robbie Ward, with the long-serving coach stating he expects an improvement next term from a player who made 16 appearances in all competitions last season.
Aston told The Star: “He's a kid from our own system, so we are delighted he’s staying with us.
“He knows though that he has to get his finger out and fight to get a position.
“We have brought in another hooker because I'm not happy, and the challenge is there now for Greg.”
Last season, Aston brought back Davey and signed Ben Pointer with Burns’ future looking in doubt.
But after Pointer made a swift departure, Burns took the opportunity, especially towards the end of the campaign, as he starred in the 1895 Cup win against Widnes at Wembley.
Aston added: “He has shown fighting qualities before.
“When it looked like he wouldn't get in the academy, he found a way.
“That's what he needs to do. A few seasons ago he was progressing nicely, but last year he was a little inconsistent.
“He got the chance to play a number of games towards the back end of last season, and he took his chance.”