Sheffield Eagles sign Tongan

Sheffield Eagles have beaten the Championship transfer deadline to clinch the signing of Tongan international winger Etu Uaisele from Featherstone.

Uaisele, 29, who has NRL experience with Parramatta and Penrith, is being linked with a move to relegated Super League club Bradford for 2015 and has joined the Eagles to the end of the season.

Sheffield chief executive Mark Aston said: “I am really excited to sign a player of the calibre of Etu. He will bring an added dimension to the team and add further strength to our back division.”

On a busy deadline day, Sheffield agreed to release hooker Gareth Owen back to Salford, who then loaned him to Championship One club Oldham.

The 22-year-old Owen has played more than 30 Super League games for Salford but has spent the first six months of the 2014 season on loan to the Eagles.

Eagles can tighten their grip on a top six spot in the Championship with a win over Batley Bulldogs tomorrow. It’s a crunch game with the teams level on 35 points when they meet at Owlerton Stadium, (2pm.)

The Eagles have won their last two games.

They on at Batley 16-12 earlier in the season but Aston expects a tough game.

Batley boss John Kear, who led the Eagles when they won the Challenge Cup in 1998, has a reputation for being a great motivator.

“We have come unstuck too many times this season not to have the attitude and the mentality correct,” said Aston. “We have to be up for it because Batley will be smarting after getting beaten quite comfortably by Featherstone.

“John will want to bounce back and Batley have a really tough run in to the end of the season and they will be focusing in on each game.”

Centre Menzie Yere (knee) and loose-forward Kyle Briggs (shoulder and neck) both face late fitness tests. The pair were taken off in the win at Barrow but are expected to play.

Back rower or centre Matt Garside could return.