Unbeaten Sheffield Eagles set for ‘toughest test so far’ at Featherstone Rovers

Ben Blackmore will line up against former club Featherstone
Ben Blackmore will line up against former club Featherstone
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Sunday’s trip to Featherstone Rovers will be the biggest test of his unbeaten side’s credentials, according to Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston.

Tomorrow’s trip to Featherstone Rovers will be the biggest test of his unbeaten side’s credentials, according to Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston.

After four straight victories to start the 2019 campaign, Aston takes his side to Post Office Road knowing conditions are likely to be a far cry from their home at the Olympic Legacy Park, where the Eagles have recorded three of their four victories.

Featherstone have recorded two victories from their five Championship fixtures, but both were convincing wins on home soil against Batley and Halifax.

The Eagles have no fresh injury concerns going into the contest, but Aston is wary of the home side’s potential acknowledging his admiration of their recent recruitment.

“I would think this will be our toughest test yet,” he explained to The Star.

“When you take into account their recruitment, and they are the home side - it is always a tough place to go. We know they can play.

“I think it is a different challenge again for us. They'll be an atmosphere, they have quality - the question is can we come out on top. Individually we need to make sure we play better than the opposition and if we can do that, then we'll give ourselves a great chance. We are still building, we are only four games in. We have shown good signs, but there is more to come for sure.” 

Brad Knowles and Anthony Thackeray will be returning to their former stomping ground for the first time since they joined Aston’s revolution during the close season.

Aston will also include Ben Blackmore and Matty James, both once of Rovers in recent times, whilst the home team are likely to include former Eagles Scott Wheeldon and John Davies.

Featherstone are also set to be backed by their dual-registration partnership with Leeds Rhinos, whilst they have also taken Wakefield half-back Ben Reynolds on loan.

Aston continued: “Everyone is desperate to play, and get into this side. Brad and Thacks  obviously played a major part for Featherstone last year, so they'll be looking forward to going back. We are all looking forward to it though, it is another great challenge.

“Featherstone have a good side, they will be helped by Leeds again so they'll have options.

“They have invested heavily in going overseas with the likes of Cameron King and Conor Carey, plus the PNG guys. They have done well over here too. They’ve recruited well.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​