24th May 2023
Hull KR today confirmed Club Captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall will retire at the end of the 2023 season after a memorable 17-year professional career to take up an exciting role as part of the club’s coaching team from 2024.
Having recently surpassed his 350th career game in the NRL and Super League, Shaun has had an illustrious career in both hemispheres. Kenny-Dowall made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters on March 19th against South Sydney Rabbitohs, starting on the wing.
The New Zealand native made 277 NRL appearances for the Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights, helping the Roosters secure the 2013 NRL Grand Final in a dramatic win over the Manly Sea-Eagles, with Kenny-Dowall scoring a vital try in the 60th minute.
A proud Kiwi, the 35-year-old was part of New Zealand’s 2010 and 2014 Four Nations victories, both over Australia. In total, the former Ngaruawahia Panther received 17 caps for the New Zealand national team, scoring nine tries for the side.
Shaun joined Hull KR ahead of the 2020 season, making 74 appearances so far in Red and White and helping the Robins’ during a period of exciting progress on and off the field.
In 2021, SKD become the club’s Captain following in the footsteps of Roger Millward, Mike Smith, Michael Dobson and Mose Masoe. At the end of the 2023 season, Shaun will begin his new role as a Development Coach for 2024, working within the first team coaching structure while mentoring the club’s young talent from the Academy up to the Robins’ first team.
Speaking on his retirement and new role for 2024, Shaun spoke of his gratitude to the sport while outlining his excitement for his new coaching role with the club in 2024: ‘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.
‘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.
Hull KR Head 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.’
Hull KR 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.’