Ben Kennedy (rugby league)
Ben Kennedy (born 14 March 1974) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative forward, he played his club football for the Canberra Raiders, Newcastle Knights (with whom he won the 2001 NRL Premiership) and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
|Born||14 March 1974|
Casino, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||107 kg (16 st 12 lb)|
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Kennedy was born in Casino, New South Wales, Australia.
Kennedy played GPS 1st 15 rugby union at St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill when he transferred to grade 12 from another school, and was selected in the Australian Schoolboys side. He switched to rugby league, playing for the Casino Cougars.
Kennedy started his post-school career playing Rugby Union for three years with the Manly Marlins in the Shute Shield. His NRL career started with the Canberra Raiders in 1996 where he was named the club's Rookie of the Year. He had four seasons with the club though the 1999 season was coloured by questions whether he had agreed to terms with the Newcastle Knights before the mid season anti-tampering deadline. He was first selected for New South Wales in 1999 and went on to play 13 State of Origins.
In 1999, Kennedy and Brandon Pearson were sent home from training after being involved in a drinking session. There were claims that the pair had taken drugs, and Pearson confessed to taking an illicit substance, but Kennedy claimed to have spat the tablet out. Subsequent drug tests for both returned negative.
Kennedy saw premiership victory during his five-year stint with the Newcastle Knights from 2000 and was selected to national honours while playing for the Knights. He debuted for Australia in 2000 when the Kangaroos played Fiji in the World Cup tournament.
Kennedy scored a try in Newcastle's 2001 NRL Grand Final victory. At the end of the 2001 NRL season, he went on the 2001 Kangaroo tour. In 2011, 10 years after Newcastle's grand final victory, Kennedy spoke to the media at The Once a Knight reunion lunch recalling his memories of the 2001 final. Kennedy said ‘‘They came into the game under a shitload of pressure but for us, it was just a good time and a heap of fun. Parra were shitting themselves and we were having a good time" .
After missing representative opportunities in 2003 due to injury and surgery.
In his final seasons 2005–06 he captained the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. He appeared in six out of the seven Australian Test matches in 2005. Along with former club teammate and friend Andrew Johns, Kennedy finished his international career in the 2006 Anzac Test.
- Rugby League Project
- Whiticker, Alan; Hudson, Glen (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 284. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
- Danny Weidler and Greg Prichard (1 August 1999). "Canberra to Axe Kennedy". Sun Herald.
- "Stories in 1999". abc.net.au. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Player Profile: Ben Kennedy". yesterdayshero.com.au. SmartPack International Pty Ltd. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012.