Select bunch of Sheffield Eagles players get a ‘nod and a wink’

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Sheffield Eagles have made initial moves to secure the futures of some of their top talent for next season.

Director Mark Aston has confirmed that the club are looking to sit down with some members of their current crop, in a bid to avoid last season’s exodus caused by off the field issues.

With a decision due shortly on their future home at the Olympic Legacy Park, Aston could yet receive a further boost in his negotiations as he seeks to retain his key performers.

“There are a number that have already had the wink and the nod from me to say that we want to keep them” Aston said.

“Over the next few weeks we will see if we can tie them down to a new deal which will help me build the squad for 2018.”

Aston has previously confirmed that winger Garry Lo is the only current member of his squad who is under contract for next season, whilst he has also stated that another close season of high turnover is expected.

He has been forced into major changes over the past two years which has severely hampered his plans for continuity.

In 2015 there was a major overhaul due to the club’s decision to go full-time, whilst last season’s off the field problems forced Aston into a late recruitment drive as the Eagles sought to stabilise the club.

Aston says the jury is still out on a number of players, with time still remaining in the Championship Shield to force his hand for next season.

“There are still prospects of earning contracts going forward, there are a number of players with their futures still in the melting pot” he said.

They will, or they should, be fighting to get a contract for next season, so the next seven weeks or so is going to be crucial for a number of reasons.

“It is nice to have a few bodies around and it gives me the chance to have a good look at them. There is a pool of players that are now looking over their shoulder for the next rounds to see who will get into the team.”

Meanwhile, Halifax prop Ryan Boyle has accepted a one-game ban for the ‘chicken-wing’ tackle that left Mose Masoe nursing a shoulder injury on his Hull KR debut. Boyle was charged with grade B dangerous contact after he was placed on report in the second half of Fax’s defeat.

The former Castleford front-rower defended the challenge on social media but has submitted an early guilty plea.