Sheffield Eagles are preparing to go toe-to-toe with high-flying Toulouse on Friday without the aid of dual-registration unless they receive a late change of heart from London Broncos.
Eagles were given a major boost during their last encounter with Toronto Wolfpack after receiving the services of Ben Hellewell, Sadiq Adebiyi and Daniel Hindmarsh from their Super League partners.
But speaking to The Star ahead of his 19-man squad announcement, director Mark Aston admitted he is unlikely to have as many options available, as the team return to league action for the Bank Holiday double-header.
Aston explained: “It'll go to the wire, and we'll see where they are at. London have a tough weekend as well. It is a challenging time with two games in quick succession. They will looking at their squad and thinking they may need all hands on deck.
“I'm not sure what we’ll get, if anything. We have Pat Moran though who is on loan from Warrington. I thought that he was great in his first hit out for us – and we have others chomping to get in. I'm not sure there will be anything from London. Again, there might be an opportunity for some of the young lads who didn't play over the last couple of weeks.”
After two defeats to begin the 2019 Championship season, Toulouse have found the winning formula after reeling off seven straight victories in the league.
They sit just two points behind pace-setters Toronto, after being the only side to defeat the Canadians so far this season, and just two points in front of the fourth placed Eagles.
A victory at the OLP for Aston’s side would certainly send a message to the rest of the division, but Aston is aware of the task in hand, rating the French outfit, in his opinion, as the best team in the Championship.
He added: "I think they are probably the best team in the competition. The brand of football they play, and having watched them two or three times over the last week or so, I'd say they are the best. I watched them take Toronto to the cleaners, so they can be pretty special. We'll have to be good, but it is a great challenge for us and we are looking forward to being back in action again following the break.”