SHEFFIELD Eagles’ Duane Straugheir is going all out in training to force his way into coach Mark Aston’s team thinking.
The centre or loose forward is desperate to face his old team mates when Eagles travel to York City Knights in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup on Sunday.
“It’s a special game for me,” said Straugheir who made the move from York this season.
“I’m still really close to all the lads (at York). It’ll be good to go up against them and see how I’m doing and how they are doing. There will be plenty of rivalry and I know that there will be plenty of banter on Twitter between the players and the fans.”
Straugheir, a former Bradford Bulls Academy player, was one of the Knights standout players last season but he’s faced a battle to gain a regular place at the Eagles.
The 22-year-old scored his first Eagles try in the 36-4 Rail Cup win over York in March but had been out of the team for the last two games.
But his ability to play in the back row or at centre and his experience of playing on the narrow pitch at the Huntington Stadium may earn him a place in the 17.
Aston is checking on the fitness of half-back Simon Brown and a number of players who picked up minor injuries in the big win at Featherstone.
The Knights led by player-coach Chris Thorman and assistant coach Mick Cook, both former Eagles players, have struggled this season and have lost their four Championship games.
Straugheir added: “We played York in the Northern Rail Cup and beat them quite convincingly but that doesn’t count for anything now.
“They will have no pressure on them on the day the pressure will be on us.
“We will go in to the game confident and we believe that we can turn anyone over whether that be York or if we were to play a Super League team.”