Milestone sneaks up on Kenny-Dowall
Such is the hectic nature of life in NRL, Newcastle Knights winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall's 250th appearance has snuck up on the Kiwi international.
After making his debut for the Roosters in 2007, Kenny-Dowall will reach the impressive milestone against the Wests Tigers on Friday night.
"It's been quite a journey and I am looking forward to getting out there on Friday night - I am really proud to wear the Newcastle Knights jersey for my 250th game," Kenny-Dowall said.
"Time flies, you don't realise week-in, week-out that they keep ticking over, and before you know it 250 - so it feels like yesterday I put the jersey on for the first time, but here we are 250.
"It has been great reflecting on what the journey has been like - the highs and lows - and just what is the great game of rugby league.
"I have been blessed to play 250 games, and it is still going."
If not for a willingness to prove others wrong, Kenny-Dowall's career may have been over before it started.
After being shown the door by the New Zealand Warriors at the age of 15, he moved to Sydney to chase his dreams.
What followed is a premiership win, 130 NRL tries and 21 appearances for New Zealand.
"There has been a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and plenty of highs and lows as well, but I feel a great sense of achievement making it this far," Kenny-Dowall said.
"[My debut] I played for Sydney Roosters against South Sydney, we lost 18-6, and I let in two tries in the corner to Nigel Vagana, so I probably wasn't the greatest debut.
"It was a good learning curve to go onto bigger and better things."
The Knights threw Kenny-Dowall a lifeline after he was released from the Roosters midway through last season following an off-field incident - but the winger says the fresh start was just what he needed.
"It really has been a great move for myself, I didn't realise how good Newcastle is. I really love this place," Kenny-Dowall said.
"It's a different drive and different environment; it is a rebuilding club, but it is a really proud club.
"I have worked out since living here how much it means to the town, and the fans, so I wear the jersey with pride every time that I put it on."