KEIGHLEY Cougars are this evening delighted to announce the capture of Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e.

The highly experienced full-back arrives at Cougar Park on two-year deal from Betfred League One rivals Newcastle Thunder, becoming the club’s third new signing ahead of the 2021 season.

Since first arriving on these shores with the Sheffield Eagles in 2011, the man known as ‘QLT’ in the game, has made his name as a prolific try-scorer, registering 231 tries in 297 appearances for five different clubs.

Quentin is also no stranger to success, winning two Championship titles with Sheffield, a League One title with Toronto, and helping Halifax to a Challenge Cup semi-final appearance.

And now the Samoan international has arrived in Keighley, it is hoped he will bring both his scoring prowess and taste for silverware to the Cougars.

Head Coach Rhys Lovegrove said: “I am of course delighted to be able to bring a player of this calibre into both the club and the squad.

“I’m really excited to have a player of Q’s standard coming into our system and adding us a different but dynamic attacking threat out of the back line.

“He will also add to our brand of rugby and the style I am looking to implement in the squad, he will also buy into the environment and culture that I’m building both on and off the field.

“Quentin arriving is also another addition of a senior player to the group that will hopefully help lead and bring through the young core we have at the club and take them to the next level, similar in a way I mentioned when we signed Scott Murrell.”

Born in New Zealand, ‘QLT’ came through the system of the Souths Logan Magpies in Australia, impressing enough to earn a call-up to the Samoa squad, who he qualifies through heritage, in 2010 before moving to Sheffield ahead of the 2011 season.

After a good debut year in 2011, Quentin began to set club records as he scored 35 tries in both the 2012 and 2013 season, playing a pivotal role in the Eagles side that would go on to win back-to-back Championship titles.

In his six seasons in South Yorkshire, Togaga’e would register 183 tries for the club which stood as the Eagles club record before being broken by his former teammate, Menzie Yere.

From there, Quentin joined the Toronto Wolfpack ahead of their inaugural season in 2017 and would spend 18 months with the Canadian club, aiding them to promotion that year as League One Champions before leaving midway through the following season to join Halifax.

It would be a brief stay at The Shay for ‘QLT’ as he caught the eye with 4 tries in as many appearances and would move on to join Castleford Tigers in the Super League, stealing the show on debut with a try-scoring Man of the Match performance against the Warrington Wolves on Sky Sports.

At the end of the 2018 season though, he would return to Halifax for a second spell before moving on once again to join the Newcastle Thunder in League One, spending just under a year at Kingston Park, in which time he was Man of the Match in the Thunder’s victory over the Cougars in September of last year, before the suspension of this season due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Chairman Mick O’Neill said of the newest recruit: “It is another great signing for the club, and he is both a good man and a good player.

“I was very impressed with Quentin as a person when I first met him and I feel we are fortunate and very privileged as a club that a top player such as Quentin wants to play for the Keighley Cougars.

“He is a top player, extremely exciting, and a great asset to both Rhys Lovegrove and the squad we are putting together at Cougar Park.

“Quentin is still very fit and at the peak of his powers, which he showed with his tries and Man of the Match performance against us in the final game of last season when he turned the game around on his own.

“He has played for a lot of the top clubs within the game and his addition, along with Scott Murrell, will complement not just each other, but the entire squad as we continue towards our aim of blending youth and experience to form a connection both on and off the field that will hopefully push to promotion next year.”

By Joshua Chapman