SHEFFIELD Eagles utility man Dane McDonald is out of the Challenge Cup game in France after cracking a rib.
He suffered the injury in the 23-16 defeat at Keighley Cougars.
It’s a cruel blow for the Australian who had forced his way back into the team following shoulder surgery during the winter.
McDonald’s loss is also a setback to coach Mark Aston’s hopes of creating an upset in the fifth round Challenge Cup game at Catalan Dragons on Saturday. He said: “We lost Dane which wasn’t in the script because when we put him at loose forward it gave us a bit of punch which we hadn’t had. He looks to have cracked a rib which will put him out of the Catalan game.”
The Eagles’ second Championship defeat of the season saw them drop five places to seventh in the table.
The game was marred by Keighley being awarded a try on the ‘seventh tackle’ and a controversial offside decision that denied Eagles what could have been a crucial score. Those incidents apart Aston says he was ‘massively disappointed’ by the performance of the team.
He’s warned his players that seats on the plane for the Challenge Cup fifth round clash at Catalan Dragons are ‘up for grabs’.