Sheffield Eagles swoop to keep record-breaker Quentin

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SHEFFIELD Eagles record try scorer Quentin Laulu-Togagae has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club for the next two seasons.

Coach Mark Aston has also swooped to sign one of the Championship’s rising stars centre Matt Garside from York Knights.

He’s also agreed new deals with prop forward Jack Howieson and winger Vinny Finigan.

The new contract for fullback Laulu-Togagae, who set a new club record with 32 tries this season, ends fears he could be a target for rival clubs. Garside, who has been a standout player in a struggling Knights’ team, has agreed a two-year deal with Howieson and Finigan signing one-year contracts.

The rush of activity is a boost ahead of the Eagles first round play-off clash with Batley Bulldogs at Don Valley Stadium, on Sunday.

Samoan international Laulu-Togagae - nicknamed QLT - is one of the most exciting attacking players in the Championship scoring 52 tries since arriving in Sheffield two years ago.

Howieson is the club’s longest serving player having first signed in 2000 and is approaching 300 games.

Former Bradford Bulls’ winger Finigan has been out of the first team in recent weeks but has scored nine tries in 18 games this season.

Coach Mark Aston said: “It’s good to get a few things sorted before the Batley game. QLT (Laulu-Togagae) has had a great season and he’s staying and hopefully will get a few more tries in the play-offs.

“Jack’s the club captain and he’s been very strong and back to the Jack of old and led from the front this season. Vinny is staying, he’s looking good and determined.”

Garside, 21, fits the profile of a player with a proven record in the Championship Aston has been targeting.

A former student international he joined York from Gateshead Thunder and has missed only four games for the Knights in two seasons scoring 15 tries in 46 games. Aston said: “I’m delighted to have to signed Matt for 2013. He’s big and strong and will add to the squad.”

Former Sheffield Eagles half-back Brendon Lindsay as retired.

The Australian-born Scotland international played five seasons at the Eagles before moving back to Australia to play for Ipswich Jets in the Queensland Cup.

The 34-year-old played a major part in establishing Eagles as one of the best sides outside Super League.