Shaun Kenny-Dowall has fended off suggestions he could be set to leave the Sydney Roosters, as the resurgent NRL club reportedly makes a play for Wallaby-in-waiting Israel Folau.
The nine-cap Kiwis international is contracted to the Bondi club until the end of 2015, but there has been speculation the 25-year-old could be offloaded if the Roosters emulate their success with Sonny Bill Williams and lure Folau back to the code where he forged his reputation.
Folau, who is on the verge of becoming a double international during the British and Irish Lions tour, is yet to confirm his plans for 2014, as the Australian Rugby Union strive to keep him and NRL clubs circle.
Williams is also vague about his plans when his one-year deal expires at the end of the season, with another season at the Roosters or a return to New Zealand rugby possibilities.
Kenny-Dowall, meanwhile, was adamant he was not planning to leave the club that provided a first grade debut in 2007, despite being linked to Cronulla.
The rationale for a move to the Sharks was his success outside Todd Carney in 2010, when the former New South Wales five-eighth was at the Roosters - Kenny-Dowall racked up 21 tries and was considered the game's premier centre.
But Kenny-Dowall wasn't keen to leave a resurgent squad and an edge comprising James Maloney, Williams and talented Kiwi wing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Add in Michael Jennings, a powerful forward pack, new coach Trent Robinson and the Roosters seem equipped to win their first premiership since they beat the Warriors in 2002's decider.
Kenny-Dowall is clearly more concerned about the immediate future - a New Zealand Warriors side attempting to record four consecutive wins for the first time since 2011 at the Sydney Football Stadium tomorrow night.
While his prolific try-scoring has waned since his remarkable 2010 - he managed eight last season and two at the midway point of this campaign -- it is his defence that has been of the greatest concern in recent weeks.
He missed six tackles against Parramatta last Friday, as the Eels scored three of their four tries down the edge he patrols with Tuivasa-Sheck.
"It's been noted and something we've been working hard on all training.."
Manu Vatuvei also looms large on the wing, where 20-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck marks him for the first time.
"I'm sure he's got a fair idea of what's coming up," said Kenny-Dowall.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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