The door is open for Corey Hanson to force his way back into Sheffield Eagles’ first team after two seasons on the sidelines.
Squad changes and injuries have opened a spot in the centres when the new season kicks-off next month. Hanson hasn’t played in the first team since 2011 but is making the right impression on coach Mark Aston in pre-season training.
“Corey had a bit of an illness and injuries and it’s up to him to jump back up and say ‘I’m here and I’m ready and hungry, play me’ ” said Aston.
“He’s been training the house down. It’s a big year for Corey.”
Hanson, 21, came through the club’s development programme playing 17 games in the 2011 season but injuries and the signing of experienced players saw him slip off the radar.
Tom Armstrong’s move to Leigh has left a gap. Eagles have signed Lelauloto Tagaloa but the USA international centre has yet to link up the squad. Aston added: “We have centres – Menzie Yere, Loto (Lelauloto) when he gets here, Matt Garside, Duane Straugheir, Corey Hanson - there will be options in that position and it’ll be who is hitting the straps.”
Hanson is likely to get his chance when the Eagles play friendlies at French club Limoux and at York City Knights next month. Centre or back rower Straugheir is a doubt as he recovers from a groin operation. “Duane is doing plenty of rehab and we’re hoping in the next week or so he will be back running” said Aston.