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Knights quiet on Kenny-Dowall's future

NZN 20/06/2017 Emma Kemp

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown won't be drawn on Shaun Kenny-Dowall's Knights future but former Sydney Roosters teammates say NRL rivals would be foolish not to snap up the experienced Kiwi international.

Kenny-Dowall was spared a conviction for cocaine possession at Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday, receiving a 12-month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to possessing a small amount of the drug at a Sydney nightclub.

His arrest in May quietly ended the 29-year-old's decade with the Roosters when the club released him from the remainder of his contract.

At the time, the Knights had reportedly been negotiating a contract but subsequently put talks on hold.

Now, with a relatively positive outcome opening up a career lifeline, all eyes are on the Knights and whether they'll sign the New Zealand centre by the June 30 mid-season deadline.

But Brown gave nothing away on Tuesday, indicating the decision lay with the club's top brass.

"When something like this occurs it heads to people above me," Brown said at Knights training not long after Kenny-Dowall's sentencing.

"I think we all thought Shaun was going to court tomorrow but a result like that is obviously favourable for Shaun as a player and it is good news for him."

Knights chairman Brian McGuigan told Fairfax Media last week he had concerns about signing Kenny-Dowall and wanted to avoid players who might bring scandals to the club.

In the eyes of Kenny-Dowall's old Roosters teammate Luke Keary, the Knights couldn't do much better than a 224-game veteran with a premiership under his belt.

"He's done it all - he's an international who's played with probably one of the best (NRL) teams over the last decade," Keary told AAP.

"He's going to bring that culture. And he knows what he's talking about - he's got a really smart footy brain.

"It would be pretty dumb for a club not to pick him up with the experience he's got, and the way he performed at the start of the year was pretty good.

"I just hope he's back playing footy before June 30."

Daniel Tupou, who'd played alongside Kenny-Dowall since 2012, said he was in a good place.

"He's going good. I do miss him, and the boys are still pretty upset that he's gone but I guess that's life," Tupou said.

"We all make mistakes. He's had a couple. Hopefully this can change his life around."

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