Loto and Misi give twin boost for Eagles

Misi Taulapapa
Misi Taulapapa
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Sheffield Eagles hope new signing USA international Lelauloto Tagaloa will join the squad later this month.

The centre, nicknamed Loto, hopes to complete the paperwork needed to obtain a UK visa this week.

Tagaloa was signed on a two-year deal from Hawaii Chiefs after impressing in last autumn’s World Cup.

Winger Misi Taulapapa, who scored 13 tries as Eagles won the Championship last season, should also be heading back after a break in New Zealand.

Coach Mark Aston said: “It’s all going well. Loto is going to get his visa and we’re hoping that he’ll be with us in the next couple of weeks.

“Misi’s the same, we’ve got the sponsorship letter from the UK Borders Agency and it’ll be sent to him and he’ll go for his visa but he may have to wait a bit longer.”

Aston needs the reinforcements with the squad hit by injuries as the start of the season at Owlerton Stadium, on Sunday February 16, nears.

Back row forward Duane Straugheir has an outside chance of making the big kick-off after a groin operation but Eddie Battye and Alex Szostak are sidelined, with Liam Higgins out for the season.

Aston added: “Were hoping by the end of the month we will have Loto and Misi here because we need them.

“It’s all hands on deck; we’re carrying a few injuries and with the operations we’ve a few out going into the season.

“Straugheir should be there or there about by the end of the month. People have had the ops and the injuries are clearing up.””