Sheffield Eagles: Aston backs Ireland international Toole for run in the side

Josh Toole. Picture: Alex Coleman, ADC Photography.
Josh Toole. Picture: Alex Coleman, ADC Photography.
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Denied a run in the side time and again this season, Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston believes now is the time to shine for Irish international Josh Toole.

Often coming in for praise from his coach, the Aussie-born centre has looked the part during his debut season in the English game but his progress has been delayed by a number of niggling injuries which have stopped him earning an extended run in the side.

The latest setback came when he damaged an eye socket, but he made a triumphant return to the ranks by bagging a try in the Summer Bash defeat of Barrow Raiders last time out.

Aston admitted that Toole’s committed displays can often lead to injury, but he won’t be curbing the centre’s enthusiasm after another impressive recent showing, stressing his style is exactly what the Eagles have been looking for.

“He has been great for us, and this is his chance now to get a good run in the side,” Aston said. “Josh plays tough and when you play like him you do get injuries. When you see him score a try, the last one especially, he came on to that ball like a steam train.”

“The one he had disallowed as well, he said he got that down, but how they stopped him I don’t know. When you play like that you get these injuries, he puts it on the line.”

Toole arrived during the close season, with Aston knowing exactly what he was getting after calling him up several times for Ireland.

The 28-year-old hasn’t been Aston’s only big miss during the campaign, but with players back in the fold, Toole was moved from centre to allow for veteran Menzie Yere to partner Jake Spedding.

Wherever he plays Aston knows he will get 100 per cent from Toole, who he says is now starting to reap the rewards for his hard work behind the scenes.

“I was delighted to get him back,” Aston added.

“I said to him about a month ago his play will give us that energy we needed.

“He’s a talker, he’s aggressive and he runs with purpose.

“He gives us a bit of punch out there. He was desperate to come over here and have a go, and he has showed in his performances he wants make us successful.

“We are building a team from scratch again, we want good honest people - Josh epitomises that.”