New Zealand rugby star Kenny-Dowall was admitted to the hospital following a mental health assessment, that was decided by his family and the Sydney Roosters NRL club. Kenny-Dowall was scheduled to appear in court on 10 domestic violence charges against his former partner, Jessica Peris, who is the daughter of Olympian-turned-politician Nova Peris, according to Radio New Zealand.
Kenny-Dowall was supposed to face Waverley Local Court on Thursday, where he was going to plead not guilty to all 10 charges, including stalking and assault.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson talked to Fox Sports about Kenny-Dowall being admitted to the hospital.
“He is in a bit of a dark place. He’s not in a good enough state to get out there and play.”
Kenny-Dowall’s teammates have stood by him in the difficult decision to be admitted to the hospital. The club captain, Jake Friend, told International as follows.
“We haven’t stood him down, he’s just not right to play. He knows we’re 100 percent behind him. When he’s right to play, he’ll be right back in there.”
Before being admitted to the hospital, Kenny-Dowall turned himself in at the local Maroubra police station last Saturday morning. Some of his charges include bodily harm and six counts of common assault. Kenny-Dowall and his former partner were together for 18 months before ending their relationship about a week ago.
The Roosters’ chief executive Brian Canavan told the Daily Mail as follows.
“He is struggling. It is very serious matter. He didn’t play today mainly because of a welfare issue and also a team preparation issue. He wasn’t in a position to train with the team yesterday. His own personal preparation, the team preparation and his own welfare, the decision was made this morning for him not to play.”
Kenny-Dowall has obviously been sidelined until further notice from the team as he deals with his admission into the hospital and court issues. The team released a statement, saying as follows.
“This should not in any way be taken as an admission Shaun [Kenny-Dowall] has done anything wrong and to do so would be incorrect.”
As of right now, while the player deals with his struggles in the hospital, it is unclear what his future is with playing with the Roosters and rugby. He has been a strong contributor to the Roosters this season, scoring eight tries in his past six games and is on track to break a club record of 139 tries. He has played 192 matches in the eight years of his professional career.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images]