A player that many Dragons fans wanted to have play more first-grade, Shannon Wakeman – for the time being – will not be doing so, having signed a deal with SL side, the Huddersfield Giants.
A strong performer for the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup or Intrust Super Premiership, Wakeman was a fan favourite of Dragons fans.
With the move now done, though, Wakeman says he looks forward to the challenge of playing in a new league and with the Giants.
“I am happy to have a new challenge overseas and in the Super League at Huddersfield,” said Wakeman.
“I’ll be teaming up again with my front row partner Sebastine Ikahihifo who played last year with us for a while before he moved to the UK so it’ll be good to have a familiar face when I get there.”
The opportunity is one that he looks forward to and Wakeman is eager to get stuck in and perform.
“I’ll spend Christmas here in Australia and then as soon as my documentation comes through I’ll be straight across and ready to rip in for the Giants,” he added.
“I’ve wanted a crack full time in the top grade for a long time now and reckon I’ve served my apprenticeship so the opportunity at Huddersfield is great for me and one that I want to make the most of.”
The Giants decision to sign Wakeman came after a sudden departure by Craig Huby.
“Obviously the move away by Craig came a bit out of left field and left us searching for an established and experienced out and out front row forward,” said Huddersfield coach, Rick Stone.
“I had already considered Shannon for further down the line for us but when our situation changed then Shannon was my go to guy to come across.”
Stone says he Wakeman is the exact type of forward the club wanted to sign, citing his high motor and work-rate.
“I have seen plenty of him in action back home and he is a big mobile type of front rower and I know he wants a crack at the top flight which is something I am pleased we can give him,” said Stone.
“He is at the stage of his career now where if he is going to make the big breakthrough then he needs an opportunity and a start – we can provide both for him and I am quietly confident that he can bring a lot to our squad.
He is a big man around 6’2 and as you’ll have seen from his highlights clips he can motor a bit.”