Papua New Guinea to Sheffield has been a well trodden path over years, so Eagles chief Mark Aston could be forgiven for having one on eye on the talent as he presided over Ireland’s recent defeat.
After leading Ireland to victory against Italy in their opening World Cup encounter, Aston looked on as ex-Eagles flyer Garry Lo bagged a brilliant solo effort as PNG ran out 14-6 victors over the Wolfhounds.
Whilst Aston’s attention is focused on Ireland, he is also keeping tabs on domestic matters as he looks to add new faces for next season.
With Lo, Menzie Yere, below, and Mark Mexico all enjoying great success with the Eagles, Aston knows he holds a track record in PNG should any potential opportunities arise following the World Cup.
“There is still plenty of work to do on the squad, but we have things coming together,” Aston told The Star.
“Obviously my eyes will be peeled while I am out here. We have got a good reputation at Sheffield with taking PNG players and players being successful with us. I have seen them first hand and of course being in PNG will be a good experience. There might be people who have an interest in us, and it may be a possibility of bringing some players over here.”
Whilst away with Ireland, Aston has confirmed two signings with Shaun Pick and Oliver Davies arriving on two-year contracts.
With Yere, Matty James, Greg Burns, Ryan Millar and Simon Brown all committed to new deals, Aston is slowly putting the blocks in place for their return to the Steel City.
He added: “There is no panic, we have to build things at again, and we have to build it right. There is no point in rushing, we get the foundations right.”
Aston would love to see Lo return. There is a deal with new club Castleford for him to re-join Eagles on loan should he not get into the Cas side.