Full-back Shannon McDonnell will be new Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock’s first signing, the Mail can reveal.
The 24-year-old was released by Newcastle Knights at the end of the season and will pen a deal with KR in the coming days.
The news comes after confirmation of the signing of Crusaders hooker Lincoln Withers, while the capture of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs prop Micky Paea is expected in the coming days.
McDonnell is the first player to have been identified and signed by Sandercock, with the pair having worked together at the Knights for the past two seasons.
A shoulder injury limited McDonnell’s involvement this season as he battled with Kurt Gidley for the number one shirt. But he now looks set to compete with fellow new signing Misi Taulapapa, another former NRL player who is joining KR from Sheffield Eagles, for the position left vacant by Shaun Briscoe’s departure.
McDonnell was born in Sydney but holds a British passport, meaning he will not count on the Robins’ overseas quota.
With more than 60 NRL first-grade appearances, he is versatile and can play on the wing or at centre.