Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has described his former vice-captain Scott Wheeldon as a ‘champion’ following his move to Featherstone Rovers.
Wheeldon was one of eight confirmed departures at the back end of last week, whilst the likes of Elliot Minchella and Garry Lo had already been confirmed as joining Bradford and Castleford respectively.
After two years with the club, Wheeldon is heading for pastures new after penning a two-year deal with Featherstone, with his former coach stating that the 31-year-old is in the top bracket of players he has worked with during his lengthy stint at the helm.
“He’s a champion. He is as honest as the day is long,” Aston said of his former charge.
“I have said a few times that I have been blessed to work with some fantastic players at Sheffield Eagles. I have coached the likes of Misi Taulapappa and QLT (Quentin Laulu-Togagae), real champions. It is the same with Scott because of his attitude, he is a proper bloke and we wish him well.”
Wheeldon was a notable addition in 2016 when the Eagles made their ill-fated move to a full-time outfit, with Aston managing to persuade the former Castleford ace to go part-time last season following a restructure of the club.
Aston though has failed to keep him for next season, despite the Eagles confirming their return to Sheffield, but the Eagles chief understands the decision to depart, backing his former ace to be a force again in The Championship next season.
“Scott is exactly what you want in a player,” he added. “You can see why he has played at the highest level, and why he was highly regarded in Super League. He is that guy that every team needs. He is Mr Dependable.
“He trains with purpose, and he really tries. He gives 100% all the time, he is one of those type of players.”
“That is what you are looking for in a team, someone who can you rely on, and he is a player you know will always give you everything he has got.”
The focus now for Aston switches to bringing players in, whilst he is also preparing for the upcoming World Cup with Ireland after naming his squad which includes Sheffield’s Will Hope.