Shaun Kenny-Dowall to retire at season’s end with off-field role lined up

Drew Darbyshire
Shaun Kenny-Dowall Hull KR SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Hull KR captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall will hang up his boots at the end of the season after a distinguished 17-year professional playing career.

The 35-year-old recently surpassed his 350th club appearance, having played for Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights in the NRL and Hull KR in Super League.

He won the NRL Premiership with the Roosters in 2013 as well as the World Club Challenge the following year.

A proud Kiwi, Kenny-Dowall won 21 caps for New Zealand on the international stage.

Kenny-Dowall, who has scored 21 tries in 74 games for Hull KR so far, will hang up his boots at the end of the season.

He said: “I’ve made the decision to retire at the end of the 2023 season and call time on my 17-year career as a professional rugby player.

“This sport has given me everything and I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me on this journey. I’ll reflect on it all at the end of the season.

“Until then though, it’s all to play for. I’ll continue to love every moment I have left on the field as a Robin.”

Shaun Kenny-Dowall to remain at Hull KR in off-field role

Although the Kiwi icon will be retiring from the game, he won’t be leaving Craven Park. He will take up a new role as a development coach at Hull KR.

He’ll work within the first team coaching structure whilst mentoring the club’s future stars.

Kenny-Dowall added: “For 2024, I’m honoured to be taking on a new exciting challenge here at Hull KR, mentoring the club’s future stars from the academy up to the first team.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be staying with this great club for 2024. I’d like to say a special thank you to the club’s board and Willie Peters for the opportunity; and the faith they’ve shown in me for my new exciting role.

“But for now, I want to finish my final season on a high and win silverware with this great club.

“Keep your amazing support coming, Red Army. See you on the other side. SKD.”

‘A leader of men’ – Hull KR boss pays tribute to retiring skipper

Hull KR coach Willie Peters said: “Shaun is a leader of men. He leads through his actions every day at training and every time he takes the field.

“I value my relationship with Shaun greatly and he’s been a great help since I joined the club last year. I’m excited to work side by side with Shaun as part of the club’s coaching team next season.

“We are delighted Shaun has accepted a very important position as development coach at Hull KR next season.

“Shaun will play an integral part in our vertical alignment throughout the whole club. Shaun will help the club to develop quality, homegrown juniors ready for Super League alongside our academy staff.

“Special thank you to our board for approving this important role within the club.

“Before he starts, Shaun has a lot more to achieve on the field as he’s motivated to end his outstanding playing career on a high.”

‘A shining example to players at all levels’

Robins chief executive Paul Lakin added: “Shaun is an outstanding leader, a motivator and a shining example to players at all levels of how you get the very most out of your career.

“He has been pivotal to the culture we have set here at Hull KR; and we, as a board, are delighted that Shaun is staying within the club, sharing his vast experience in a vitally important development coaching role working across the academy, reserves and first team.”

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