Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston has expressed amazement that star fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagage won’t be taking part in rugby league’s World Cup 2013.
“He’s been overlooked for the Samoan squad which I can’t believe” said Aston about the player who has scored 89 tries in 90 games since joining the Eagles three years ago.
The fullback was ignored by Samoa’s coach Matt Parish when he named an Australian-based ‘train-on’ squad for the competition in England and Wales this autumn.
Laulu-Toagagae (nicknamed QLT) had seemed set to start next season with a Super League club before signing a two-year extension to his contract that will keep him at the Eagles until 2016. Warrington Wolves were believed to have made a move but pulled out over visa complications.
“QLT’s good enough for the Super League” said Aston. “He pounces and tacklers bounce off him, I’ve never met a bloke who has a smile on his face so much; it’s infectious. We have got him for the next three seasons; he’s 28 and there’s more to come. Anybody who scores 30 plus tries in each of the last two years is a quality player.”
Laulu-Togagae took his try total for the season to 34 with a 40-metre break in the 29-10 play-off semi-final win at Halifax.
Fax’s coach Karl Harrison described him as a special player adding: “Every team in this competition is missing a player like QLT, there aren’t many like him and how he is not in Super League is beyond me.”
QLT will line-up against Batley Bulldogs as the Eagles attempt to lift the Championship Grand Final trophy for a second successive year.
After a weekend off the Eagles have started their build up to the final at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.
n Eagles’ record try scorer Menzie Yere will be in the World Cup. The centre is in the Papua New Guinea squad for the tournament.