Sheffield Eagles’ Canadian import ‘should be more forceful’

Sheffield Eagles' Rhys Jacks against Swinton Lions. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Eagles' Rhys Jacks against Swinton Lions. Picture: Andrew Roe

Director of rugby Mark Aston has called on Canadian international Rhys Jacks to be ‘more assertive’ if he is to force his way into his Sheffield Eagles side.

Jacks has struggled to hold down a regular position in the Eagles ranks, with Aston favouring the more inexperienced Dave Hewitt and Cory Aston.

Jacks hasn’t featured in over a month following the defeat at Oldham, with Aston explaining he is looking for the 26-year-old to show leadership in order to hold down a regular berth in his 17.

“He needs to be more assertive,” Aston told The Star. “He has played 80 odd Queensland Cup games; he is not a junior player anymore. He has played at international level with Canada, so he has the pedigree, we just need him to be more vocal and try and lead our younger players.”

After Jacks failed to secure a deal with Bradford Bulls, Aston pounced to lure the former Souths Logan Magpies ace to Bawtry Road after a successful fortnight on the training field. After making his debut against Swinton, Jacks has had a frustrating time cementing himself into Aston’s plans.

Whilst it is still early days in Jacks’ career with the Eagles, Aston says now is the time for him to stand up. “He has been with us long enough now; he knows what we are looking for, he needs to deliver,” Aston added.

“Like them all to be fair, he is no different to anyone else – they all need to deliver.”

The Eagles chief has challenged the half-back to show he means business on the training ground, as the Eagles look to close the gap on the top four with a home game against Workington this Saturday. He continued: “He is a good kid, he is itching to play but he needs to take his opportunity and try and stay in the team. He has try and embed himself into this squad. We are looking for him to be the manager of the team out on that field. The game management skills are the key for him. Once we see that on the training field, then he will get his chance.”