News Release

Professional Rugby Star Richard Kennar Shares Life-Changing Decision


Richard Kennar, 23-year-old professional rugby league star expressed, “Playing in front of 50,000 to 60,000 people is the best feeling ever, but it only lasts a couple of hours. The gospel lasts forever and the joy goes deep down in your soul.” He shared this as he explained why he is giving up his three-year contract with South Sydney Rabbitohs to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Kennar shared that the decision for him to serve a mission came when he attended a LDS Young Single Adult convention in early 2018 and hears a young woman express her feelings that she wished her father held the priesthood. Kennar reflected on the times his own father gave him Priesthood blessings when he needed surgeries for rugby and he desired for more families to have fathers who hold the priesthood. Kennar said, “The priesthood is a gift you cannot buy no matter how much money you have. I want to honour the priesthood that I hold by serving a mission and I want families to be blessed by it.”

Kennar admitted he felt anxious to tell his coach when he received his mission call in May. He recounted that he prayed, fasted and visited the temple for a few weeks before he shared the news with his club. To his surprise, his coach responded, “I know how much your faith means to you and … I’m glad you’re standing up for what you believe in.” Kennar added that the club, its CEO, and his teammates were all supportive of his decision. 

Kennar said that rugby has exposed him to a ‘high-class life’ that can be tempting for a young person, and the physical and emotional intensity of the sport are unseen by the public. He said that he has learned to rely on his faith in Jesus Christ to manage the challenges that come with the sport. 

Kennar will continue to represent his team until he leaves for a Scotland/Ireland mission in September 2018.

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