Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles sweating on duo ahead of season opener
Sheffield Eagles will be without key man Anthony Thackeray, whilst prop Scott Wheeldon faces a race against time to be fit, ahead of this weekend’s season opener against Halifax.
Ex-Fax half-back Thackeray will serve a one-match ban following dissent against Doncaster in a pre-season friendly.
Meanwhile, Eagles’ director of rugby Mark Aston also confirmed his talisman has been nursing a rib injury.
Wheeldon, back for a second spell with the Eagles, is a big doubt for the clash on Sunday (2pm) at the Shay as he continues to recover from a knee issue.
On Thackeray, Aston told The Star: “He did have an injury last weekend, he popped his ribs when he was taken out late in the Doncaster game.
"But the people at headquarters have decided his sin-binning for backchat was worthy of suspension which drives me insane if I am being honest.
“It is what it is. I am not going to dwell on it.
“I think that he needs to be a bit smarter and it is now time for some of the others to stand up and show what they are capable of.”
Wheeldon has missed both pre-season outings, but the Eagles do have Brad Knowles available again after suspension.
Elsewhere, Connor Bower is expected to come through okay after a recent elbow issue.
Aston added: “Scott Wheeldon has a chance, whether he'll quite make the start of the season, I don't know. We'll have to see how he goes in training this week after he had his knee cleaned out just before Christmas. We’re hopeful.”