Wigan forward James McDonnell making big impression at Leigh

James McDonnell England Knights SWpix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Leigh coach Adrian Lam says on loan Wigan forward James McDonnell is “exactly the type of player they love” at the Centurions.

The 22-year-old back-rower has impressed during his loan spell with Wigan’s neighbours Leigh in the Championship this season.

McDonnell was recalled by parent club Wigan for the Easter period but just missed out on selection in Matt Peet’s matchday squads.

The England Knights international has now returned to Leigh on a rolling two-week loan deal, and Lam is delighted.

Speaking to Love Rugby League, Lam said: “I’ve had a couple of years with James now and I know what he is capable of doing.

“I know how tough he is. He certainly fits into the style that I want to have as a defensive team.

“We are going pretty good defensively at the moment, we’ve had two zero scorelines against and James is a part of that.

“He understands the way I want to defend here and his nature and the way he goes about his rugby… He’s resilient, he’s tough and he’s exactly the type of player we love at Leigh.”

James McDonnell versatility delights Leigh boss

McDonnell is a centre or back-rower by trade, but has also featured in the middle for the Centurions this year.

Lam believes McDonnell’s ability to play in a variety of positions will benefit him in the long run.

Lam added: “Even though he is a back-rower, he has played a lot of his time here in the middle which is a little more challenging him for him.

“He has done everything right here at Leigh and he has played some great rugby.

“He is sitting behind Sam Stone and Joe Wardle here at the moment (in the back-row). But he is getting a lot of minutes in the middle and back-row coming off the bench.”

McDonnell is eligible to play for England or Ireland on the international stage. He was born and raised in England but his dad’s side of the family hail from County Mayo in Ireland.

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About Drew Darbyshire 7884 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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