Doncaster RLFC: Shaun Leaf happy to be Dons utility man

Shaun Leaf
Shaun Leaf

Shaun Leaf is happy to be Dons’ flexible friend.

Leaf justified the club’s decision to re-sign him last season after he had served an 18-month ban for infringing RFL rules on betting on games.

He originally played as stand-off when he joined the club in 2002 but since then has played in a number of positions in both backs and forwards.

Leaf admits to having a preference for the right-sided centre spot but said: “There is a lot of competition out wide, as there is throughout the team.

“I think (coach) Paul Cooke will probably see me more as a utility player, possibly using me more in the back-row.

“I think I’ve probably played everywhere for the club except prop and I’m happy to play anywhere as long as I am in the team.”

Whereas Leaf was one of only a couple of players travelling over from Humberside when he first joined, several car loads now make the journey.

“I struck up a good friendship with the likes of Liam Cunningham, Lee Waterman and Den Tuffour travelling over together last year,” he said.

Leaf, for one, hopes that Cunningham enjoys better luck with injuries this season.

“He’s been very unlucky with injuries over the last couple of years, but he’s a very good player, skilful and a good talker. He’s going to be a real asset if we can keep him fit,” he said.

Dons face North Wales before their Championship opener at Workington on February 16.

“It’s a tough place to start but we picked up a win there last season and hopefully we can do the same this season.

“We possibly over achieved finishing sixth last season but we’ll be aiming to finish in the top eight again, or even higher.”