McDonnell joins Hull FC
Hull FC have made former Hull KR full-back Shannon McDonnell their seventh new signing for 2013.
The 25-year-old, who left Rovers after just one season at Craven Park, has signed a two-year contract with the Black and Whites to plug the gap created by the departure of another Australian full-back Wade McKinnon.
Hull had been linked with the former Wests Tigers and Newcastle player for several weeks and completed the capture during a visit by coach Peter Gentle and director of rugby Shaun McRae to Australia in which their main target is former Australian Test half-back Scott Prince.
While the Gold Coast Titans captain ponders the offer of a three-year contract, McDonnell readily agreed to link up with former Rovers team-mates Liam Watts and Ben Galea at the KC Stadium next season, in addition to Gentle, his former coach at the Tigers.
McDonnell said: “Hull FC is a good place to be, the club are moving forward and they have recruited well for next year so I know I’ve made the right decision.
“Having Peter Gentle at the club was a big pulling card for me too. He used to coach me when I was younger and I’ve got a lot of time and respect for him.
“It took me a bit of time to settle in another country this year and the weather makes it a bit of a culture shock when you first come over but I love the city and I just can’t wait to get back over there and get things under way.”
Gentle said: “To have a player of Shannon’s ability come available at this late stage in the year was a real bonus for us.
“He was somebody we had identified earlier in the year when it became clear he would be leaving Hull KR at the end of the season so we moved very quickly once we heard there was an opportunity to bring him to the club.”
McDonnell made 21 appearances for the Robins in 2012 before picking up a season-ending knee injury and earned a call-up to the Exiles team to play England in June.
Hull used four different full-backs after agreeing to release McKinnon in April for personal reasons.
McDonnell will link up with fellow newcomers Galea, Gareth Ellis, Daniel Holdsworth, Paul Johnson, Joe Arundel and Jason Crookes for the start of pre-season training and Hull hope that Prince will join them.