St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham has admitted that the sudden retirement of Lance Hohaia has left a “massive void” in his squad.
Hohaia retired from Rugby League last week, which prompted the Saints to act quickly and bring in Shannon McDonnell from the NRL.
Youngster Lewis Charnock stepped in and played hooker in the absence of James Roby – a role that would have normally been undertaken by Hohaia.
“It’s left a massive void, I won’t deny that,” Cunningham said. “Lance was very versatile in what he could do.
“It has enabled us to bring in Shannon McDonnell who has fitted in great and it’s helped me to promote young Dougie who I was convinced would do a good job.
“But if Lance was here, would I play Dougie? Probably not because I’d play Lance.
“It’s opened up some avenues for me going forward that will help the team I feel.”