Players must earn the right to play against London

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A club record 14 straight wins won’t stop Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston from shaking up his team.

Aston is promising changes for the Championship game against Swinton Lions and warned his players they will have to earn selection for high-profile games.

He is determined that thoughts of the Challenge Cup clash with London Broncos won’t affect the league form with the Eagles lead at the top of the table cut to one point by chasing Featherstone Rovers.

“The record is good but we haven’t spoken about it,” he said.

“We have talked about keeping the momentum going, we have to work hard this week to get win 15.”

“We have a massive game on Friday at Don Valley against Swinton Lions, we need to win that and keep our head above water in the league.”

Aston was concerned by the way Doncaster Dons were ‘allowed to come back into the game’ after the Eagles took a 28 point lead on their way to booking a place in the Northern Rail Cup final.

It opens the way for forwards Eddie Battye and Colton Roche plus winger Nev Morrison to stake a late claim for a spot on the starting roster.

“There will be changes on Friday night, people must put their hand up to try and get the spot the week after against London,” Aston said. “A few people have been put on warning and they haven’t done themselves any favours.

“That’s something I spoke about at half-time (at Doncaster) and said: ‘You need to put your hat in the ring for next week and then the week after – but some took theirs out’.”

He added players will have to earn their places and he won’t be keeping anyone “in cotton wool” as then coach John Kear did in the run up to the 1998 Challenge Cup final.

“We want to go into the big one against London on the back of long winning streak,” he added.