Championship XVII: Is this how Sheffield Eagles will line up in 2021?

Despite their ongoing off-field uncertainty, Sheffield Eagles return for another season under Mark Aston.

Full-back: Josh Guzdek

The 25-year-old Josh Guzdek has many more years in the game and will be an obvious choice for full-back. 

After scoring plenty of points for previous club Dewsbury, Guzdek is now in his third year with the Eagles, having continued his ability to assist and score plenty of points for the club.

Wingers: Rob Worrincy & Ryan Millar

In what is his fourth spell with the Eagles, Rob Worrincy will hope for a full year with them this time around. He knows his way to the try line, still has plenty of speed and power and will be all good for at least another year, even at the age of 35. Ryan Millar is almost averaging a try in every two games for the club during his six years so far, so no doubt Aston will keep him in the frame of starting selection.

Centres: Connor Bower & James Glover

Connor Bower has shown promise for previous club Doncaster and considering Sheffield’s home plans for 2021, could very well see the best of him in familiar territory. James Glover is in his third year for the club, having had four good seasons with the Dewsbury Rams. Always a consistent player, able to score plenty of tries and having a goal kicking boot on him, he should remain a regular for the foreseeable. 

Stand-off: Izaac Farrell

Opting for experience, Izaac Farrell should start out as the Eagles’ stand-off. Having had previous spells with Huddersfield Giants and Rochdale Hornets, Farrell has shown bouts of quality plus he is another goal kicking option, which can prove valuable to any team.

Scrum-half: Anthony Thackeray

Veteran Anthony Thackeray returns for another season in the Betfred Championship. The 35-year-old has experienced a hard-fought career and still has enough quality and leadership as vice-captain to help steer the club forward once again.

Props: Scott Wheeldon & Matt James

Starting off in Super League before ending up in the Championship, Scott Wheeldon still has enough left in him to carry on. The 35-year-old may be ‘knocking on’, but in the second division he can still cause havoc for many opposition forwards, plus his experience will be crucial for them in 2021. As for Matt James, he is an easy starter considering he is club captain in what could be a make-or-break season with the Eagles.

Hooker: James Davey

In his second spell with the club, James Davey will lead by example at hooker this season. He is a consistent player, having made over 100 appearances for the Eagles, plus a good stint with Batley Bulldogs in between, so the 31-year-old will be raring to go when the season starts.

Second-rowers: Brad Knowles & Joel Farrell

Over 100 appearances between Featherstone and Sheffield, Brad Knowles has been somewhat of a ‘loose cannon’ in the game but that is something every club needs in order to breathe fire into them. He will be joined by Jamaican international Joel Farrell no doubt. The 26-year-old still has several years ahead of him and will be eager to impress Aston even further.

Loose-forward: Aaron Brown

Having made over 175 professional appearances and scored up to 60 tries, Aaron Brown will be a regular for the Eagles in 2021.

Bench

Robbie Ward

Hoping to get a full season with Sheffield under his belt, Robbie Ward could go well as a substitute hooker this season. He has previous Super League experience plus the number nine played well during his time at Dewsbury so there is no reason why Aston is unable to get the best out of him – time will tell.

Oliver Davies

Entering his fourth season with the club, Oliver Davies will be a crucial player. Able to rotate between prop and second row, Davies will be useful off the bench for such a reason, providing plenty of energy to the side too when needed.

Frankie Mariano

Though not quite getting going yet at the Eagles, Frankie Mariano will hope for regular game time after his first year of course did not go as planned in 2020. The Scottish international has been around since 2009, even in Super League, and will provide Sheffield with plenty of ‘go forward’ in the back-row in 2021.

Tyler Dickinson

Having recently signed from Batley Bulldogs, Tyler Dickinson will be eager to impress and put the faith shown in him by the club to bring him over to good use.

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