Eagles ready to wow fans on homecoming

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SHEFFIELD Eagles aim to put on a show for their fans when they return for their first match at Bramall Lane for 11 weeks.

The pressure is on when they face Batley Bulldogs on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) with both teams chasing a top four finish and a home draw in the Championship play-offs.

Coach Mark Aston will demand a big performance from his players to remind fans what they have been missing.

“It seems an age since we were at Bramall Lane and we want to put in a massive performance and beat a team that’s playing on top of their game,” said Aston.

“It’s been frustrating that we have been away so long and people get out of the habit of watching rugby league at Bramall Lane. We need to make sure that we hit the standards and play well. We’ve got three home games on bounce and we want the fans to enjoy the game and keep coming back.”

In their break from playing at the Lane the Eagles have played eight and won four.

Batley are playing their last game and need the win to have a chance of holding on to the third place they have occupied for most of the season.

A win for the Eagles would give them their first double over a top six team after a 28-16 victory at Batley on Easter Monday.

“This is a tough start to our last three league games,” said Aston. “Karl Harrison (Batley’s coach) has put together a strong team who will be determined to dominate early on.”

Eagles half-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who scored two tries at Barrow last weekend, is likely to be sidelined with a hamstring strain. Back row forward Joe Hirst could return after a hamstring knock.

Harlequins have bolstered their pack for 2012 with the signings of experienced Australian forwards Shane Rodney and Antonio Kaufusi. Manly Sea Eagles second rower Rodney, 28, and Newcastle Knights prop forward Kaufusi, 26, have both signed three-year contracts. St Helens have handed new contracts to youngsters Tommy Makinson and Scott Hale.