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.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:50 pm
Dons v Sheffield Eagles. Doncaster's Josh Rickett and Sheffield's Anthony Thackeray, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 1-NMSY

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.

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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.”