Mark Aston’s challenge to returning Eagles star Mark Mexico

Eagles Mark Mexico runs into Bulls Danny Addy and Jay Pitts.  Picture Tony Johnson.
Eagles Mark Mexico runs into Bulls Danny Addy and Jay Pitts. Picture Tony Johnson.

Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has challenged Mark Mexico to make the wrongs right as the PNG ace looks set to return from suspension.

The big prop was hit with a four-match ban following an incident in the Championship curtain raiser against Oldham, with his team mates toiling in recent weeks without the former Newcastle operator.

The Eagles have lost their last three games and are set to welcome second-placed Featherstone Rovers this Sunday (7.30pm), but Aston looks to have Mexico back in the mix after the 27-year-old utilised his time away to great effect.

“Mark has really knucked down, he has been challenged,” Aston told The Star.

“He didn’t have the best pre-season, but he has certainly started to look in better shape and when he comes back I want people to talk about Mark Mexico on his return, by saying what a great player he is.

“That’s the statement that he needs to make because really he let us down by getting suspended.”

“And by not being available for four weeks he has let us down as group, and the club,” Aston added.

“He needs to make that right and the way to do that is on the field.”

Aston has been hamstrung over the past fortnight with players being unavailable, but Mexico’s availability will give him the option to change it up for the visit of Jon Sharp’s side.

Former Warrington ace Jordan Cox is another player closing in on a return, but he isn’t expected to be back for the weekend, as Aston will look to use the Eagles’ dual-registration agreement with Leigh to bulk up his squad.

Aston believes that when Cox is eventually ready he can have a major impact with the Eagles, and has previously used the example of Mexico as a barometer for the 24-year-old to measure himself against.

“In a week or two if we can get him back, there is still a huge part of the season to go and he can play a massive part for us,” Aston added.

“While he’s been out Mark Mexico has been very physical in training. The enjoyment factor for us coaching staff will come when Mark and Jordan hit it off together in training, because you are going to have to be brave and tough and put your body in front of Mark when he runs like he does. That’s certainly a challenge of Jordan.”