Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston is likely to tinker with his starting line-up as his side prepare to take on pace-setters Leigh Centurions this Sunday (3pm).
Aston will take his side to Leigh Sports Village knowing that a surprise victory would narrow the gap to his third placed side to just two points.
After revealing that he was unhappy with the Eagles overall display in the victory over Whitehaven last weekend, it is widely thought that changes are likely ahead of the mouth watering clash with Paul Rowley’s side.
Cory Aston has recovered from a neck problem and could be recalled to the 17, while prop Tony Tonks and second-rower John Davies are expected to be available after picking up minor injuries in recent weeks.
“Cory was fit for last week but just didn’t quite make it,” Aston confirmed to The Star.
“Tonker wasn’t quite ready for last week and John Davies had some bruising so we didn’t risk him. There is no doubt about it; all three of those lads will be in contention for Sunday.
“I could have possibly played John Davies last weekend, if it had been a Grand Final then I would have played him. I am trying to freshen people up and make sure that they get some down time and some rest before we go into the final push of the season.”
Aston is wary of a big month ahead and with the Eagles looking odds on to secure a top four place, the chief knows that he needs a fresh outfit at his disposal for the potential ‘middle eight’ fixtures at the end of the regular season.
He admits that some of his regular starters will need to be rested, but he is unlikely to afford that luxury to any of his star names this weekend for the crunch clash with Leigh.
“I have been talking about giving Eddie Battye some time off for a while now; he needs a bit of a rest,” Aston added.
“Could he get one this week? Maybe not, but over the next couple of weeks we need to get people freshened up because we are looking a bit tired in certain departments and, at the moment, we are trying to manage them through it.”
“People like Eddie and Thorpey (Steve Thorpe) have played a lot of minutes out there this season. I am not saying that it will be this week, but hopefully we can give one or two a well earned break.”