In 2007 former Hurricanes and Lions lock Ross Kennedy shifted south to Otago for the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup after being unable to re-establish his career in Wellington following an injury layoff in late 2005. Less than two years earlier Kennedy’s name was mentioned as a possible All Black.
As it was the hard grafting lock won a deserved call up to the Junior All Blacks in 2005, the culmination of a meteoric rise to prominence in three years of Super 12 rugby.
A product of the Wellington Rugby Academy, 20-year old Kennedy was the youngest member of the Hurricanes squad in his first year in 2003. He was a member of the Junior World Cup winning New Zealand U19s in 2001, represented New Zealand U21 in 2002 and was a standout player in his first NPC season, named Wellington rugby’s Most Promising Player.
His career continued on the upward spiral between 2003-2005, enjoying a second stint with New Zealand U21 and establishing himself as a regular member of both the Hurricanes and the Lions until the end of 2005.
He was loaned to Counties Manukau for the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup and subsequently became a member of the Hurricanes Wider Training Group in 2007.
Kennedy is the son of former Canterbury and New Zealand Combined Services loose forward Adrian Kennedy, who used to coach Western Province and assist at the Stormers and Northampton and Saracens. Ross Kennedy also represented Wellington in Australian Rules football as a 16 year old.
Kennedy played for the Highlanders in 2009, after a strong 2008 Air New Zealand Cup with Otago and was then a feature in the Hawke’s Bay Magpies’ engine room in the 2009, helping that side to the semi-finals of the Air New Zealand Cup. He returned to Magpie country in 2010 for their ITM Cup campaign.
In early 2011 Kennedy moved to South Africa to start a three-year playing career with Port Elizabeth-based Eastern Province Kings, coached by his father Adriaan.
Kennedy was drafted to the Crusaders in 2012.