With just one day to go until Toronto Wolfpack’s eagerly anticipated clash with Championship heavyweights Sheffield Eagles, there is plenty to get excited about. The Wolfpack head to South Yorkshire to play the Eagles at their new Legacy Olympic Park Stadium for the first time. This will be the first professional competitive game in the city for over twelve months.
However, one Wolfpack player in particular will have been looking forward to this fixture more than most. Popular fullback Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e is set to play against his former club for the first time since joining Toronto and Sheffield is a club that holds a lot of fond memories for him.
QLT spent six seasons with the Eagles in total, tallying up 218 appearances for the club, scoring a massive 183 tries in the process.
Looking back at his time in the Steel City, QLT admitted his decision to move from Australia to take a chance in Sheffield was a big one for his career and was very grateful to the club for the opportunity. He said:
“I was playing Queensland Cup in Australia at the time and Sheffield asked me if I wanted to come over. I was keen to do so and experience what English rugby league had and it went from there.
“I didn’t know much about Sheffield before I came over. Some of the Samoan boys I knew were already over there though so I looked into it and the background of the club before I made my decision.
“I really enjoyed my time in Sheffield. I spent six years there and the club will always have a special place in my heart. I met some really good guys who I consider close friends over there and we won a few titles as well so my time there was really good.”
After making the decision to leave a club where he had had so much success both individually and as a club, the former Championship team of the year member was adamant his choice to run with the Pack from the very beginning was a good one, revealing the culture at the Wolfpack to be something very special. He continued:
“Someone put me in touch with Paul Rowley before the idea of a team from Toronto was announced. I had a one to one with Rowls and Finny and they really sold the vision to me and I signed from there.
“Sheffield were a tight bunch but with Toronto we travel over to Canada in four or more week blocks so that has brought us in even closer and has made us gel really quickly. That’s the special thing at Toronto, we’re really tight knit and we’ll do anything for each other.”
After five weeks of Championship action, Toronto have experienced some highs and lows but this has come as no surprise to the Wolfpack custodian, who is tried and tested at this level. He added:
“I really enjoyed the League One campaign last season but this year is a bigger challenge and hopefully we can do some good things again.
“So far this season it has shown that if you don’t turn up you’ll get beaten. We’ve had a few rounds where it’s been a kick up the back side for us, we need to turn up with the right attitude and execute the game plan.
“We expect to have a tough game every week this year, there are no easy beats in the Championship.”
Looking at the Eagles as this week’s opponents, QLT highlighted some key threats the Wolfpack would have to nullify in order to secure another important win but remained confident he would treat it as any other game. He concluded:
“Sheffield have a really good back three. Garry Lo and Ben Blackmore are really strong players and Cory Aston is a great young half. We’ll have to bring the right mentality and we know we’re in for a tough game this week.
“It’ll be emotional for me going back this week initially but I can’t let it affect me too much. Emotion only hits you for a few seconds and I just need to prepare as I do every week and put my best foot forward.”