Hull KR captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall has previously announced that he’ll retire at the end of the season – but pundit Jon Wilkin believes the Kiwi icon could easily play on.
The former New Zealand international produced another classy display on Friday night to help Hull KR record a stunning 52-10 win over Leigh Leopards at Craven Park.
Kenny-Dowall will hang up the boots at the season’s end following four impressive seasons with the Robins, taking up a role with the Super League club as an assistant and development coach.
“I can’t believe Shaun Kenny-Dowall is retiring, it’s just mental,” pundit Jon Wilkin said during Sky Sports‘ coverage of Hull KR’s win over Leigh.
“I don’t think he’s played better rugby than he’s been playing. The last few weeks he’s been just sensational.”
‘I love this club’ – retiring Robins skipper Shaun Kenny-Dowall
The 35-year-old, who won 21 caps for New Zealand, says the time is right to retire but is looking forward to mentoring Hull KR’s future stars in the coming years.
When asked about possibly playing on, Kenny-Dowall told Sky Sports: “I’m done, I feel bad enough but I’m just really enjoying it. It’s just great to be part of a good team and it just makes it a lot easier for me to do my role out there when everyone is doing theirs.
“I love this club and they’ve been so good to me so it’s only fitting that I stay here, give back to the kids and continue what we’re creating here at Hull KR.”
Kenny-Dowall also paid tribute to the Hull KR faithful, saying: “They show up every week, they’re vocal, they’re loud and they’re passionate and that’s what we live for. We love putting a performance they’re proud of and the city deserves a successful Hull KR team.”
‘He’s like a fine wine’ – Willie Peters hails Kiwi icon
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Peters hailed the efforts of Kenny-Dowall and believes the NRL Premiership winner will leave a legacy at Craven Park.
“He’s still going alright isn’t he? He’s like a red wine, same with Hally (Ryan Hall),” Peters said.
“I suppose the positive for that is he’s going out on a high, he’s going out still playing his best rugby.
“He’s going to be part of our staff next year so he’s going to be really important to what we’re doing going forward.
“He’s a development coach/assistant next year and he’s going to be extremely important to our club so he’ll certainly leave a legacy.”