Duo set for return to boost Eagles play-offs bid

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SHEFFIELD Eagles hope to have back-row forward Joe Hirst and half-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae back at Hunslet Hawks on Sunday.

Their return would be a boost as the Eagles go in search of vital points to secure a play-off place.

Coach Mark Aston said: “We’re a bit busted up at the moment and the squad is a bit thin. We need lads like Joe and Quentin back – there’s five games to play and we need points.”

Hirst pulled up with a hamstring strain at Leigh Centurions and missed the Eagles second defeat in four days at Featherstone Rovers. Samoan international Laulu-Togagae missed both games following a similar injury in training. Aston’s problems grew during the 34-6 defeat at Featherstone when prop Alex Rowe aggravate a knee injury. Rowe went into the game with the knee heavily strapped and had only one spell off the bench.

Aston added: “Alex has been struggling with the knee for most of the season we’ll have to see how he is.”

Eagles are uncertain about the future availability of their dual registration signings from Huddersfield Giants. Half-back Kyle Wood was in the Giants squad for their win over Hull KR and back rower or centre Jamie Cording has missed the last two games.

Former Eagles boss John Kear could be one of the contenders for the coaching job at Castleford Tigers after being told his contract at Wakefield will not be renewed. Kear, who coached Eagles to their 1998 Challenge Cup win over Wigan, has been the Widlcats coach since 2006. His assistant is Wembley captain Paul Broadbent.

A former Castleford player Kear had been expected to get a new deal after the Wildcats retained their Super League licence but the club has decided it needs a ‘fresh’ start.