SHEFFIELD Eagles record try scorer Quentin Laulu-Togagae is to have surgery and will miss the start of the new season.
The fullback is one of three players from the Grand Final winning squad who are set to go under the knife as injuries threaten to disrupt the club’s pre-season plans.
Samoan international Laulu-Togagae will have a knee op next week and also facing surgery are utility man Dane McDonald and back row forward Alex Szostak.
Laulu-Togagae – nicknamed Q or QLT – battled against the injury late last season as he set a new club record of 35 tries.
“It happened about a month and a half before the season ended,” said Laulu-Togagae. “I could wait until it got worse but I’ve decided to get it done. It will be touch and go for the first game but if the knee went in the middle of the season I’d have missed a lot more games.”
Club captain Jack Howieson (ankle and knee), hooker Pat Smith (hernia) and winger Vinny Finigan (shoulder) have also had operations in pre-season. McDonald is facing surgery on his left shoulder for the second time in 12 months.
Coach Mark Aston feels the injuries are a legacy of the Eagles’ battle to their first Championship title. “We’ve had a fair few injuries but I suppose playing right to end of last season it was always going to happen. Q’s going in for a clean out on his knee and Dane’s got a tear his shoulder in the Grand Final, it hasn’t mended as we hoped and he’s going to need a repair,” he said. “Dane’s got no chance of making the start of the season. We’re thinking Alex Szostak might need a shoulder operation.”
Eagles have unveiled their home shirt for the 2013 season. The shirt is mainly red with flashes of gold and white.