A host of former favourites will look to halt any potential return to form for Sheffield Eagles, tonight.
The Eagles aim to avoid a third straight league defeat against an improving Featherstone Rovers, who dumped London Broncos out of the Challenge Cup last weekend. Mark Aston’s side came through a tight contest against Swinton, but the momentum is with ‘The Flat Cappers’ who have named former Eagles’ favourites Misi Taulapapa, Scott Turner, Kyle Briggs and John Davies in their 19-man squad.
Earlier in the campaign the Eagles came unstuck against a Batley side inspired by ex-Eagles Dominic Brambani and Pat Walker, and Aston warned his side to be wary of the club’s former stars. “I’ve watched Featherstone. They have got some very good players,” Aston declared. “They have some of my old players, such as Misi. He has always been a champion and will have a point to prove. He’s a competitor and a winner and they have the likes of John Davies, Scotty Turner and Kyle Briggs.
“Some of these teams have benefited from us going full-time, as have Batley. It’s going to be a tough game.”
Aston expects to find out a lot about his new look side as they prepare for the start of four straight away league fixtures. With the likes of Dewsbury and Bradford to follow tonight’s clash, Aston knows that his side will have make a stark improvement to some indifferent displays in recent weeks. “We need to start getting it right as we have some tough games coming up,” Aston said.
“We’ve got Featherstone and then Dewsbury, who had a great win against Bradford, before we are facing Bradford ourselves, the Sunday after. We will see where we are after those games. The next three games are going to tell us a lot about ourselves.
“However, it’s about us and we have to start raising the bar and get to the standards we set earlier in the season. We are having a little dip but we will get over it. Featherstone is going to be tough for us.”
Matt James and George Tyson are back in Aston’s 19-man squad, whilst young prop Jack Blagbrough is also included, but there is no place for PNG ace Mark Mexico.