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Super League Back Row Forward Loan Signing Plays Tonight

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Super League star given instant debut

Sheffield Star Published Date: 19 March 2010

By James collins

Rugby League

BACK-row forward Mike Burnett has signed on loan for Sheffield Eagles and goes straight into the team for tonight's game against Dewsbury Rams.

Burnett joins the Eagles from Hull FC on a dual-registration deal, initially for a month but coach Mark Aston hopes it could be longer.

"Mike has a massive future ahead in the Super League and we're delighted that he has joined us," said Aston.

"He's a lad who has played a lot of first team rugby and it's good for us with some big games coming up."

Burnett, aged 21, has played 29 first team games for Hull - 17 last season. The arrival of a number of high-profile Australians at the Super League club has restricted his chances this season.

Aston added: "The Hull coach Richard Agar rates him highly and believes he has a big future at Hull - he's big, strong, has the benefit of full-time training and working with some top players like Craig Fitzgibbon at Hull."

Prop Michael Haley will also come into the team and Alex Rowe is a possibility for tonight's game at Don Valley Stadium, kick-off 7.30pm.

Aston will be without the injured Jack Howieson and Ryan Hepworth but was already planning to revamp his forwards after losing the first two games of the Championship season.

Howieson has aggravated a bicep injury and Hepworth suffered a compound fracture of a finger in last weekend's 44-30 home defeat by Widnes. Both will be out for two to three weeks.

Back rower Sam Barlow is also doubtful after being knocked out by an off-the-ball tackle.

The backs face a re-shuffle with winger Richie Barnett doubtful with a hamstring strain. That should see Jonny Woodcock back at fullback with Ashley Thackeray switching to the wing. Matty Brooks is vying to replace Dane McDonald as Brendon Lindsay's half-back partner.

Dewsbury were unbeaten as they won promotion from Championship 1 last year but like the Eagles are still seeking their first win this season. They went down 40-10 at home to Featherstone Rovers last weekend.

Aston added: "They may be struggling with the pace this season but they will have seen the Widnes result and will see this as a win - their coach Warren Jowett sees every game as a win."

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