Selection poser after Sheffield Eagles bans confirmed

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Sheffield Eagles will have some crucial selection decisions to make ahead of their crunch encounter with Halifax this Sunday.

The Eagles will be without half-back Cory Aston and centre Sam Smeaton who are both suspended, but Director of Rugby Mark Aston had already threatened to ring the changes before their bans were confirmed by the RFL Disciplinary Panel, after a disjointed display against Workington last weekend.

With four rounds of the Kingstone Press Championship season remaining, Aston’s side have a four point buffer on fifth placed Halifax.

Aston’s options have been limited after losing two of his key players, but the Eagles’ chief is confident of finding a winning selection.

“We will work through it; it is a fact of life at this time of year,” Aston said.

“We moved Straugh (Duane Straugheir) to have a look at him at centre last week, we took Cory (Aston) off and put Patch (Pat Walker) out there to have a look at him too, we have several permutations to consider.”

Aston hasn’t ruled out the possibility of adding to his squad and he has until July 23rd to make any necessary additions to his ranks. The Eagles are hopeful of being boosted by the return of prop Mitchell Stringer and winger Rob Worrincy who have been missing with neck and back problems respectively, whilst Dominic Brambani is expected to be brought out of the cold, after missing the last two encounters with Leigh and Workington.

“Mitch and Rob you would think would be back in contention, but I am looking for others to see if anyone is out there that we can bring in to add to us,” he confirmed.

“We have got to be better, there is a lot to play for and we have high standards here. We always say that we play better in the second half of the season but I am still waiting and so are the coaching staff. It is a frustrating time, but we have players like Dom Brambani who will have another chance this week, there is potentially 10-12 games left of the season and the people who are hitting the levels and performances at the right time will get the nod.”

Featherstone Rovers moved within two points of the Eagles after a shock win over Bradford on Wednesday night, and in the process leapfrogged Halifax into the top four.