Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says Simon Brown must ‘earn respect’ again if he is to force his way back into his selection plans.
The experienced half-back was dropped from the side that suffered a heavy home defeat to Featherstone, with Aston explaining he was left out after reporting in late.
The Eagles have played twice since but there has been no sign of Brown, with Aston selected Matty Smith on dual-registration for the home defeat to Toulouse, whilst Oscar Thomas was given a recall for the pilgrimage to Toronto.
Aston says that any possible return for Brown is down to the player himself, stating he must regain the trust of the club before a recall can be contemplated.
“I am just getting on with things, I have moved on from that now,” Aston told The Star.
“Simon will be Simon, and we’ll just carry on. He needs to get his head down, earn the respect back from the group, and if he does that then we’ll go forward. If he doesn’t, well the decision is left to Simon.”
Brown departed the club just prior to the start of the current season but just six weeks later he was pressed back into service to help alleviate an early season slide which has seen the Eagles fighting for their Championship status.
Brown’s comeback immediately proved crucial when he kicked a last gasp one-pointer which gave the Eagles victory over Swinton, but he then suffered a knee injury at Rochdale which kept him out of action for a number of weeks.
After battling back to full fitness, he is now sidelined again, and there appears to be no quick resolution to the impasse.
“We’ll see what happens in the near future because he has to get my trust back and that will be his challenge, not mine,” Aston added.
“It is the boys that he let down, not just me and the club, so he needs to get back their respect too. We have got people like Oscar Thomas who is the ultimate professional. He turns up, he doesn’t moan, he gets on with his gig. Simon is in a fight for his place, there is competition there.”
Meanwhile, dual-reg regulars Matty Costello, Matty Lees and Adam Swift were all involved with St Helens in their victory over Widnes. Swift bagged a hat-trick for Justin Holbrook’s side, as Aston awaits news on who will be available for this weekend’s clash with Dewsbury.