Eagles face an old boys’ reunion

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SHEFFIELD Eagles must nullify the threat of two of their old boys Chris Thorman and Jon Presley when they face York City Knights tonight (7.30pm.)

The mix of veteran Thorman’s precise kicking game and swift line splitting breaks from Presley is key to York’s play. “Two quality players. Presley will score tries at any level and Thorman has one of the best kicking games around,” said coach Mark Aston. “We have to be mindful of the threat, they will want to put one over on us.”

Veteran Thorman started his career with the Eagles in 1999 before moving on to Huddersfield Giants, London Broncos and a spell in Australia. Presley was with the Eagles for three years before moving to Keighley and was a key pre-season signing for York.

The Eagles go into tonight on the back of a 44-16 defeat by Widnes Vikings. Newly-promoted York came away with a 28-28 draw at Hunslet Hawks.

Aston has set the priority on a tighter defensive performance. He said: “We let 40 odd points in against Widnes. Defensively, particularly on our line we were very weak; we’ve worked on that.” Aston has options in the backs with the return after suspension of Menzie Yere.

The Papua New Guinea star will link up in the centres with Jason Crookes who makes his debut after signing on a dual-registration deal from Bradford Bulls. Quentin Laulu-Togagae will play his second game and Aston has to decide if the Samoan international utility back starts or comes off the bench. Dane McDonald is out with an ankle injury but Huddersfield Giants have released dual-reg signing Kyle Wood and he’s set to slot in at half-back with Simon Brown.