Roosters unsure when SKD will play again

Shaun Kenny-Dowall might not play again this NRL season, after he was admitted to a hospital due to concerns over his mental wellbeing.

Kenny-Dowall was not present in Waverley Local Court when the domestic violence-based allegations were first heard on Thursday.

The Kiwi international will sit out Sydney Roosters round 20 match against Wests Tigers on Friday and will likely also miss the round 21 clash against Canterbury next week.

After that just five round remain until the end of the NRL regular season and Roosters coach Trent Robinson said on Thursday he doesn’t know when the 27-year-old will next take the field.

“Shaun won’t be playing this weekend and he most likely won’t be playing next weekend,” Robinson said.

“It is all about welfare at the moment. He is not playing because of a welfare issue, not because we believe he is guilty and that is not for us to decide, that is for the court to decide.”

Robinson stressed the Roosters had not stood down Kenny-Dowall after he was arrested and charged on Saturday with a number of alleged offences in relation to his former girlfriend Jessica Peris.

“We have said openly he is innocent until proven guilty,” Robinson said.

“We have stood down players before who have not done anything illegal but who have broken standards in this club and we will give him his chance to be innocent.”

Robinson said Kenny-Dowall was battling to come to terms with the allegations made against him and was receiving professional help.

“Shaun is obviously getting looked after at the moment, he is struggling with what has happened over the last week or so. He needed to get some attention and that is what he is doing,” Robinson said.

“It has been a welfare issue, we have wanted to make sure he is in the right frame of mind and it has gotten to the point that he needed to get some help with that.

“First of all for his family that has been caring for him, and his friends and the club it is about making sure he is in the right space to get back on track to then go through the court process with these charges.

“The first bit is welfare and the second bit as far as I know he will try and clear his name.”

Kenny-Dowall did not appear in court. His lawyer Chris Watson did not enter a plea on his behalf. The matter has been adjourned until August 6.

Robinson also said he was disappointed about comments NSW Premier Mike Baird made about the case, saying the NRL should consider suspending Kenny-Dowall until the allegations had been tested in court.

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