SHEFFIELD Eagles’ new signing Quentin Laula-Togagae didn’t have much time to shake off the jet lag before he was making his debut.
The Samoan international flew in from Australia late last week and was in action off the bench after 30 minutes of the game at the weekend.
Now he faces a quick learning curve to settle into the squad with Eagles playing at York City Knights on Thursday night: “I’m still a bit rusty and I haven’t played for five months since I played for Samoa against Tonga,” he said.
“I needed to learn the moves and the game plan – the basic stuff and I’ll be all right in a week or so. But we’re playing on Thursday, it’s a quick turnaround and I’ll just put my head down and get used to the boys.”
Laula-Togagae came off the bench after 30 minutes of the 44-16 defeat by Widnes Vikings at Bramall Lane on Sunday and quickly showed his utility value to the squad.
He took over from Andrew Henderson at hooker and then when Dane McDonald limped out of the game switched to stand-off.
Laula-Togagae’s arrival in the UK has been delayed by visa problems but he showed the wait was worthwhile with a couple of sharp breaks and almost scrambled a debut try.
Eagles coach Mark Aston said: “Considering he’s only just got off the plane Quentin showed he’s a quality player. He went in at six and showed up well.”
McDonald sat out the second half with a damaged right ankle and is a major doubt for Thursday’s game at York.
That could see Laula-Togagae staying at stand-off. He said: “I prefer to play fullback but I’ll play anywhere in the back line the coach wants me.”
York started their Championship campaign with a 28-28 draw at fellow promoted club Hunslet Hawks.