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SKD ushering in next generation of backline talent

Shaun Kenny-Dowall is sharing the knowledge.

It's something he's happy to do.

A veteran of the NRL with more than 250 first grade games and 21 Test for New Zealand to his name, the nib Newcastle Knights winger has taken the younger generation of outside backs under his wing.

Exciting 17-year-old Simi Sasagi is signed until the end of 2020 with an option for a further two seasons and currently enjoying his first NRL pre-season.

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Australian Schoolboys duo Bradman Best and Starford To'a have also joined the squad and are reaping the rewards of sitting under Kenny-Dowall's learning tree.

"We've got some young guys coming up through the under 18s and 20s," Kenny-Dowall said.

"Simi and Star To'a. He (Star) was an Australian Schoolboy. Bradman Best was in there as well.

"He's a big boy and I think they all have bright futures.

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"It's been great to know them and working with them and trying to develop them. They're going to be good players for the Club in the future."


Kenny-Dowall is relishing the role of playing mentor to the next generation of the Club.

"That keeps me young, working with these guys, if I can help bring their careers on at a faster pace, I'm happy to do that and pass on the knowledge that I've attained throughout my career," he said.

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Having celebrated his 31st birthday on Wednesday, Kenny-Dowall is the oldest member of the Knights roster.

Not that it's an issue.


The winger doesn't "buy much into age" and wants to be judged on his performances and how well he trains.

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Having added the likes of Edrick Lee and Hymel Hunt to the squad, the battle is on for spots in Nathan Brown's 17 to start the season.

"There's plenty," he said of the competition for spots in the side.

"There's been some great buys over the pre-season. That only adds to the pressure.

"No spots are 100 percent yours. You have to work for everything. It's bringing the best out of everyone."