Rugby League: Aston will give youth a chance

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Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston will give his young players the chance to fill gaps in the squad.

His options have been reduced by the forced retirement of experienced prop Liam Higgins and promising reserve Leigh Sanders being sidelined by injuries.

Aston will consider reinforcements if the right player comes available but won’t be rushed into any signings.

“I need to look what shape the squad is in and what we might need,” he said. “I’m very much about giving the young players the opportunities. We’ve achieved a lot over the last couple of years - back to back Championship titles - and I want to keep that momentum going but we also need to look to the next generation.”

It opens the door for centre Corey Hanson, forwards Connor Scott and new signing from Leeds Rhinos Academy Jack Blagbrough plus half-back Cory Aston.

Their chance will come in pre-season matches at French club Limoux and York.

Aston added: “It leaves a few gaps but we’ve always talked about bringing on the young kids and it has to be the thing for this club. There’s opportunities for these guys.”

Prop Higgins has decided to hang up his boots after suffering a major knee injury in the Eagles Championship play-off semi-final win at Halifax last season.

The Eagles will play a friendly at York City Knights on Sunday February 9 which doubles as Andrew Henderson’s testimonial.