Hooker McShane will bring whole new dimension to Wildcats approach - Agar

Richard Agar.
Richard Agar.
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Off-season recruit Paul McShane will be a key man for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats next year, coach Richard Agar says.

McShane will make his first appearance for Wildcats when they visit his former club Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day.

Leeds parted with McShane after signing Wakefield’s 2013 Man of Steel, players’ player and player of the year Paul Aiton to take over as their new No 9.

Agar admitted the two play a different style of game, but is convinced McShane will prove a smart addition.

“I am confident we have got a really good player,” said Agar. “He is going to bring a different dimension to what Paul Aiton did. “We were pretty devastated to lose Paulie, who was probably our best and most consistent player for the last two years.

“He was a popular member of the playing group, but Paul [McShane] will bring some different qualities.

“He is a skilful player, very good as a dummy-half, he is a creative player and his kicking game will give us some different options.

“We have got to get used to him and work out what’s the best way to utilise him, but he is definitely a guy who will benefit from playing week-in and week-out.”

McShane made 55 Super League appearances for Leeds – 38 of those off the bench – and also had spells on loan at Hull, under Agar, and Widnes Vikings.

Agar added: “His place in Leeds’ pecking order wasn’t the same as it is with us.

“We are really pleased to have him here and hopefully he can go on and become a major player for us.

“He has certainly got the attributes to do that and the time’s right in his career, as a 24-year-old with 60-odd senior games under his belt.

“Hopefully his game can flourish with the different sort of status he will carry in our group. We have spoken about that and he has talked about wanting to develop into a leader.”

Also facing his former team-mates will be prop Richard Moore, who joined Wakefield for a second spell after being released by Rhinos.

“He is in good shape, which is testament to what they do at Leeds,” Agar said.

“They are a fit side and an athletic team and Richard looks in good condition.

“He has spent some time as a squad player at Leeds and he’s looking forward to hopefully playing a few more minutes for us.”

How McShane, right, and Moore fare against their old club will be one of the highlights of the Boxing Day game, but Agar admitted his number one priority is to get through unscathed.

“It’s also chance to blow some cobwebs off and see where we are,” he added.

“We have worked hard in pre-season and it gives these guys a first chance to put their hand up and show what they can do.”

Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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