Sheffield Eagles youngster sets an example for older players

Eagles player Paddy Burns.
Eagles player Paddy Burns.

He may be a doubt for tomorrow’s Summer Bash encounter with Barrow, but 20-year-old Paddy Burns could prove to be a tough act to follow after impressing coach Mark Aston.

Still very much in the infancy of his rugby league career, Burns returned to the Eagles’ flock after a spell with Castleford and a short stint out in France, as he looks to reignite his career where he served his apprenticeship.

Whilst recent results have stuttered, Burns’ light has continued to shine, with Aston hailing his recent progress despite his tender years.

His run in the side could be halted tomorrow as a head injury has put his inclusion at Blackpool in doubt, with Aston claiming whoever steps in has a big job to live up to Burns’ recent displays.

“Paddy’s injury was a disappointment after the performance at London because he was excellent again,” Aston said. “We have been impressed with him. He brings a work ethic, an attitude and commitment and is doing the things that we want. He is tough, like his brother Greg, and the lads really enjoy playing with him. For a young man, he has certainly arrived into a tough situation and come out of it with flying colours. He has set a good example.”

With Matty Fozard and Corey Makelim back in the fold, Aston admitted their inclusion gave his side a boost at London, but skipper Matty James remains a doubt after a spell in hospital following an infection.

“It was a boost having Matty Fozard back,” Aston adds. “We got him into his favoured position at nine, and he certainly had a bearing on our improved performance at London. Jamesy has been in hospital on a drip, and hopefully that will clear up an infection that he has picked up.

“Corey did well last weekend. We were pleased with him, we didn’t pick up too many knocks aside from the issue with Paddy. He got knocked out, so he’s doubtful for the Summer Bash.”