22 Oct 2010

Shaun Kenny-Dowall named league player of the year

3:40 pm on 22 October 2010

Recalled Kiwi Shaun Kenny-Dowall has been named Player of the Year at the New Zealand Rugby League's annual awards dinner.

22-year-old Kenny-Dowall had lived with a one-Test Kiwi tag for three years following his debut against France in Paris in 2007.

But a positional switch to the centres prompted to a stellar 2010 season as he helped the Sydney Roosters go from wooden spooners in 2009 to beaten NRL grand finalists a year later.

Rated by many as the best centre in the competition this season, Kenny-Dowall was the NRL's equal top try-scorer with Newcastle's Akuila Uate, scoring 21 tries in 28 matches, just ahead of his New Zealand team-mate Manu Vatuvei (20 tries in 19 games) as well as being second best among all players for tackle breaks (170), sixth for most metres (3559), eighth for line breaks (20) and 10th for most runs (359).

Kenny-Dowall will lineup for the Kiwis against England in the 4-nations opener in Wellington tomorrow night.

Kenny-Dowall faced stern competition for the award from fellow nominees Vatuvei, who won the Warriors' Player of the Year title, Kiwi captain Benji Marshall and South Sydney hooker Issac Luke.

Collecting the other major award at international level was Warriors back rower Lewis Brown, who was named the Rookie of the Year.