Fitness boost for Sheffield Eagles and St Helens player

Sheffield Eagles' James Bentley in action against Leigh. Pic: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Eagles' James Bentley in action against Leigh. Pic: Andrew Roe

James Bentley’s return from the treatment room could not have come at a better time for Sheffield Eagles, according to director Mark Aston.

The St Helens ace has been back with his parent club since injuring his groin in the victory over Rochdale back in April.

The versatile centre is fit again and enjoyed his first run out in the narrow success over Dewsbury on Sunday.

With Aston’s troops put through the mill after a lengthy round trip to Toronto, the fresh legs of the former Bradford star could be a welcome boost should Aston get the green light for further dual-registration appearances in the coming weeks.

“He will be good for us at this time of the year,” Aston explained to The Star.

“He has something about him. He has a bit of class. He has some flair, and he has energy. He will be pushing people. To have him together with (Ben) Blackmore and (Jake) Spedding again gives me options.

"It means that I can push Josh Toole into the back row which is his best position. It means I can bring Bentos off the bench, put him in the back row or put him at centre.

"He really gives me options at a crucial time.”

Bentley looked sharp in his first appearance and can only improve as Aston looks to keep hold of his full dual-reg quota from Saints ahead of Sunday’s hosting of Barrow (3pm).

The Eagles chief is also mindful of managing some of his elder statesmen, with Aston keeping a close eye on veteran centre Menzie Yere who, despite missing the start of the campaign, has played most games since.

The presence of Bentley may give Aston the chance to manoeuvre his troops, as he looks to plot a course for a huge couple of months for the club with just two rounds of the regular season remaining.

“I think Menzie is just starting to creek a little which is understandable,” he added.

“He looks like a big juggernaut trying to turn round these days so we need to be mindful of him. We need to keep an eye on him and see how he goes because he is struggling a little. That is part and parcel of getting older, it happens to us all. He still gives his lot, but we have to look after him.”