Sheffield Eagles: Aston talks up Matty James' influence

Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has always been vocal around the impact of Matty James on the field, but he has also outlined a crucial role behind the scenes for the inspirational skipper.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 10:23 am
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 05:25 am
Matty James

Despite facing up to a serious knee and ankle injury which prematurely ended his 2019 campaign, Aston still pinned down the former Featherstone ace to a new two-year deal.

The contract will take James through to his 34th birthday, and it is this crucial experience which Aston also needs behind the scenes as he asks the Wakefield-born ace to help develop his long-term replacements.

Aston told The Star: “He's integral, not just for what he brings on the field, but also what he can provide to some of these younger players we have here. We want him to help develop the likes of Rory Dixon, Blake Broadbent and Paddy Burns. We have a massive job to do with these guys, and I’ll need his help to take them onto the next level.”

James is currently back running again, with Aston confident at is current rate of progress that he will be ready to begin pre-season training, which will ensure he is available for the first game of the 2020 campaign.

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Aston affirmed: “I am certain he'll get back to where he was when he's fit again, he was playing some of his best rugby before the injury. It might take him some time, but he'll get there for sure, I don't see a problem with that.”