SHEFFIELD EAGLES: Patched-up prop Jack relishing new Eagles season

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SHEFFIELD Eagles’ longest serving player Jack Howieson is looking forward to a new season after some running repairs.

The prop forward made his debut in 2001 but there’s a new challenge ahead to defend the Eagles Championship title.

“At the end of last season I was pleased to get a break because I’ve been carrying a couple of injuries but winning the Grand Final was great and now I’ve got itchy feet to get back into it,” he said.

Howieson is recovering from an ankle operation and in the next couple of weeks will go under the knife for knee surgery.

He said: “Over the years the bone in my left ankle has been flaking off and calcifying and there’s not been much flexibility so I’ve had that trimmed off.

“I’m due to have a knee clean out operation but hopefully I’ll be back in training soon after Christmas.”

The Eagles kick-off the new season in February in a league expanded to 14 teams including promoted Doncaster.

Howieson said: “It’s always interesting at the start of the year looking at the odds and I’m sure that we’ll be up there as one of the teams to beat.

“We’re the Champions but no team has backed-up by winning Grand Finals two years on the run. We have to forget last year and look forward to the new season.”

Another big season could see Howieson in the Scotland squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. The demands of his Playball business - running children’s exercise classes – restricted him to a single game for the Scots in the autumn internationals.

Howieson, who played in the 2008 tournament said: “There are lots of good young lads coming through but I would love to play in another World Cup.”