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Sheffield Eagles: Mark Aston still fuming over ‘lack of respect’ from senior player

Simon Brown was left out of Sunday's defeat to Featherstone
Simon Brown was left out of Sunday's defeat to Featherstone
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It is decision time for Eagles chief Mark Aston as he mulls over whether there will be further sanctions against half-back Simon Brown after he was dropped for Sunday’s defeat to Featherstone.

Aston confirmed after the game that Brown was stood down after arriving at the OLP 15 minutes late, with the Eagles director of rugby not afraid to make a big call with one of his senior players.

Brown was set to start the game, and was a welcome addition to the ranks, after returning to the squad the week prior at Batley following a knee problem which had kept him on the sidelines.

There is no doubt that the Eagles need every body available as they look to clinch Championship survival, but Aston says he was left with no option but to act, stating he won’t let standards drop.

“He was late so I took him out of the team,” Aston said.

“We talk about meeting at 1.30pm in here, but when I talk about half past one, I expect quarter past one. He knows, he is a senior player. He turned up at 1.45pm, not good enough. End of story. I have to be honest with this group. Traffic? Really?

“There are others that come from that neck of the woods, so I am not copping it. I am sick to death of making excuses for people and their inability for being professional.”

It has again been a tough week on the injury front for Aston, who also revealed the cut suffered by Jon Magrin to his lip could keep him out for weeks not days.

He also lost Josh Toole during Sunday’s defeat, whilst Ben Blackmore also missed out with injury.

The Eagles can ill afford to lose Brown as well, as Aston thinks carefully about his next move.

“We’ll see what happens. There will be a disciplinary, there is no doubt about it because there is a time to be here and a time not to be,” he continued. “We’ll go from there. I am not in that luxurious position where I can turn people away, but I can’t tolerate the unprofessionalism and the disrespect to the group.”

“I was starting him to give me a kicking game and help me out in that department. That’s what he can do, for me not to have that luxury is a disgrace.”