Championship Preview: Sheffield v Batley

Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston has doubts over Liam Higgins’ availability after he suffered concussion in last week’s defeat at Halifax.

Aston insists his team is ready to change its style of play to get the most out of the early season fixtures.

He said: “We like to play football. We want excitement and the conditions weren’t conducive (at Halifax) to the way we play, but you have to adapt. We’ll roll our sleeves up and work.”

Ayden Faal is ruled out for Batley Bulldogs after suffering an ankle injury against Keighley Cougars.

Batley coach John Kear said: “I was delighted with what we served up last week, considering it was the first day of the season, the opposition was tough and the conditions were awful.

“But we’ll have to be better this week, there’s no doubt about that.

“I’m expecting to face a bit of a backlash after Sheffield lost at Halifax, and people keep reminding me we haven’t beaten Sheffield in about 1,000 years or something – everything seems to be stacked against us.”

Kear added: “Mark Aston drills his team very well and they play very much in his likeness.

“The game management of their half backs is exceptional, they’ve got a good kicking game, a tough pack and some real strike power out wide.”

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