Eagles and Crusaders win Championship polls

Sheffield Eagles and North Wales Crusaders were the clear winners in the League Express Readers’ Poll for clubs in the Championship.

Eagles coach Mark Aston, who coached his side to the Championship title for the second straight year, is voted the Championship Coach of the Year, while his Papua New Guinean centre Menzie Yere wins the Player of the Year award. Yere edged out team-mate Mitchell Stringer, who had won the competition’s Player of the Year prize at the end of the season.

Crusaders coach Clive Griffiths took his side to the Championship One title, earning promotion, and he has won the Coach of the Year award in that division, with Crusaders forward Jono Smith winning the Player of the Year award.

Aston welcomed the accolades both for himself and for Yere.

“It’s great to get recognised and we’ve had a great couple of years as a club,” said Aston.

“That’s down to the players. As coaches all we do is keep them on track.

“It’s nice that Menzie has been acknowledged because he scored 46 tries and broke all those records. That isn’t easily done.

“We’re lucky to have people like him, and I’m lucky to have a great coaching department that has helped us to these successful two years.”