Sheffield Eagles: Aston considers Irish future

Eagles coach Mark Aston.
Eagles coach Mark Aston.

Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston is keen to continue his dual role as Ireland’s international coach.

His decision will depend on assurances from Ireland Rugby League that resources will be made available.

“I have spoken to them (Ireland RL) and they’ve asked me to stay,” he said.

“Ireland must guarantee certain things.

“It’s been a challenge in the years leading up to the World Cup and if we can’t get a level of commitment and quality of facilities then there’s no point.”

A tough World Cup saw the Wolfhounds lose all three group games – to England, Fiji and the eventual winner Australia - but Aston believes progress has definitely been made.

He wants the Rugby League to build on the success of the World Cup by promoting a higher-profile home international championship to help nations like Ireland develop.

A return to Great Britain tours of Australia and New Zealand is also on his agenda.

“Now Rugby League has to look forward and build the international game - it has to be the pinnacle of the sport,” he said.

“We need to re-look at the international game and be prepared to restructure.”

Ireland could face cash problems following the decision of the Rugby Football League last month to end funding to the Celtic nations.

Aston added: “Credit to the Ireland RL; what I asked for when I took the job three years ago has been delivered – good training facilities and looking after the lads as international players should be.

“I have started something with Ireland I want to develop that.

“There a lot of work going in to set up academies - it is the same challenge we have with Sheffield Eagles to find and develop our players.”