Shaun Kenny-Dowall has arrived at Hull KR this week as the highest profile signing for season 2020, writes Paul Cooke.

His presence and experience will help the squad build, of that there’s no question.

A senior player in years, a senior player in terms of his experience at various successful clubs.

Signings such as Kenny-Dowall have an instant impact on the club. The attention his arrival gains, the introduction of such a decorated professional into the club means people listen intently and immediately to what he has to say.

When the signature of Kenny-Dowall was announced every young player within the club should have been and will be excited, particularly the outside backs to which Kenny-Dowall has played in some of the best teams in the NRL competition and some of the most successful to add to his credentials.

 

The effect Kenny-Dowall can leave, in some ways his legacy will certainly have a major impact on the club and young players for years to come. 

If the players pick up on what he says, what he does, and how he does it then they’ll learn a great deal without the actual knowledge to be able to understand just what the benefit of such a player was until he’s left and left behind his best habits.

By no means should we or anyone red and white expect any miracles, Kenny-Dowall is a Tony Smith type of player.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall on his first day at Craven Park
Shaun Kenny-Dowall on his first day at Craven Park

His efforts on the field can never be questioned. He does everything at 100 per cent, carry, defend, positional play, catch, pass, reads in defence. It’s been his way since I watched him in the NRL and the New Zealand shirt for as long as I can remember.

This, plus, his aerobic capacity, means everything you see from Kenny-Dowall will be all out action, not a moment break. He will bust a gut for every second he’s on the field to help his team be a success.

 

It’s these habits, the Smith way, how such a player can and is able to continually keep doing these things week after week after week.

I look forward to seeing his impact in a Rovers shirt as an individual player, but most of all I look forward to the impact he has on the other players by his presence, his wholeheartedness in whatever small task in a game that is a competition.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith and his staff pitchside in Perpignan

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