Aussie front-rower Steve Thorpe missed the opportunity of a Sheffield Eagles return after the pre-season friendly with Swinton Lions fell victim to the wintry conditions.
There was to be no warm-up for Mark Aston’s troops as an overnight deluge of snow coupled with freezing temperatures put paid to the Eagles’ second pre-season fixture ahead of the new campaign which starts on February 7 at Workington Town.
The postponement will come as a blow for Thorpe who was set to feature for the first time since breaking his leg against Widnes Vikings in a Super 8 fixture in August.
“Steven Thorpe has been given the all clear, and he has trained flat out all week,” Aston revealed to The Star.
“It is an outstanding effort by the lad, he has worked really hard to get back and keep himself focused. He has worked in tandem with the medical staff and the fitness and conditioning department, and he is in really good shape.
“When he tires he still has a little bit of a limp, but that is the mental side of it, he will come out of that. We just need to get him out on a field now.”
Eagles supporters were also denied a first look at winger Gary Lo who was absent from the victory over Dewsbury, with Aston confirming the club were waiting on a form from his previous club to rubber stamp his registration.
There has yet to be an announcement on a new date for the friendly, with Eagles chief Aston historically not a firm believer in showing his hand prior to the season.
Last season the Eagles didn’t have any pre-season games, and Aston prior to the Swinton postponement indicated he was looking to give his squad a weekend off before the new campaign.
With a rearranged showdown on the cards, it is likely to derail the carefully laid pre-season schedule which Aston and his staff have put in place.
“As people know, I don’t usually do pre-season friendlies but with the change over in players we felt that we needed a game or two to try and get to where we want to get,” Aston said after the pre-season victory over Dewsbury last week.
“We will give them a weekend off on the 24th and train the weekend of the 30th and then we are playing the weekend after.”