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Kenny-Dowall charged with drug possession

NZN 4/05/2017 Steve Zemek

Shaun Kenny-Dowall is facing an uncertain NRL future after the Sydney Roosters star was allegedly caught with cocaine at a Sydney nightclub.

The former New Zealand international is due to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on June 21 after being charged with drug possession.

Kenny-Dowall was arrested at the Ivy nightclub about 1am on Friday after allegedly being caught by police in possession of 0.46 grams of the drug.

The Roosters have commenced an investigation and informed the NRL integrity unit, with the incident to have an impact on the 29-year-old's desire to retire a one-club player.

A veteran of 11 seasons at Bondi Junction, 224 NRL games and 21 Tests for New Zealand, Kenny-Dowall is off contract at the end of 2017 and fighting for his future.

After an indifferent start to the season, he was dropped from the New Zealand side for Friday's Anzac Test against Australia and is battling to convince the club he's worthy of another contract.

Last month Kenny-Dowall with Newcastle coach Nathan Brown, who is attempting to recruit senior players for the struggling club's rebuild.

If Kenny-Dowall is found guilty it could influence the club's interest in him.

He could yet be stood down, a move that would open the door for out-of-sorts youngster Latrell Mitchell to return to first grade after he was dropped for the Roosters' previous two games.

Roosters players were given several days off this week, with many of their teammates away on representative duty.

The club did not make comment on the issue on Friday except to acknowledge they were aware of the allegations against Kenny-Dowall.

Brisbane CEO and former police officer Paul White spoke about the game's constant battle with off-field issues and illicit drugs, saying cocaine was widely available and accessible.

"It's a constant risk, our players are wonderful athletes but they're also risk-takers," White said.

"The support you need to wrap around your players is constant. That's why you never reach the promised land with player behaviour.

"If you ever say you've solved that puzzle, you're kidding yourself. Something is going to come your way very quickly."

Kenny-Dowall was last year acquitted of domestic violence charges against his former girlfriend Jessica Peris.

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