McDonnell in shop window after excellent debut

Shannon McDonnell

Shannon McDonnell

First published in Sport St Helens Star: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

SAINTS full back Shannon McDonnell will be looking to build on his dream debut for Saints.

The 27-year-old Australian, who had not played top-level rugby league since getting injured playing for Hull in last year’s Challenge Cup semi-final, scored two tries in Saints’ win over Wakefield.

With a sharp burst of pace, the ability to put boot to ball and an uncanny knack of knowing where to be, McDonnell could be an asset for the injury-hit team in the final run-in.

Coach Nathan Brown said: “Shannon is here till the end of the year.

“He has a lot of experience in his position and is a great support player.

“If the boys create an opportunity he will appear there. He knows how to play the position and that is the key.

“This time of the year, to try and educate someone who has not played in such a crucial position can be tough.

“To have Shannon to fall back on there is a blessing. And on top of that, he is on threepence a match so has already paid his way by scoring two tries and helping us win a match. Anything from here on in is a bonus.”

After losing pivotal players Jonny Lomax, Luke Walsh and Jon Wilkin for the rest of the year, Brown has had to tweak the line-up. With Paul Wellens moving back into the half back/loose forward role in the middle, McDonnell has slotted in at full back.

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