New Zealand Warriors managing director Jim Doyle confirmed on Thursday that Kiwi standoff Kieran Foran has signed a one-year deal with the club for the 2017 NRL season.
Doyle made the announcement to Warriors members attending the club’s annual members’ forum at Mount Smart Stadium.
He said the 26-year-old Foran had told him at the weekend that a move to Auckland was his preference as he continues to rebuild his life and resume his playing career.
“I’ve been in touch with Kieran regularly this year to offer support as he has dealt with the well-documented challenges he has been facing,” said Doyle.
“We have worked through the option of coming to Auckland carefully with him. There has been much to consider in creating an environment for Kieran to not only return to football but also to put all the support around him that he needs.
“I’m delighted that following those discussions, Kieran has now decided to join the Vodafone Warriors. The next step is to work alongside the NRL to cover off all requirements to have the contract registered.”
Auckland-born Foran moved to Australia with his family as a youngster and is now in line to live in the city for the first time since he was 10 when he joins the Warriors for their first offseason training programme under just-appointed new head coach Stephen Kearney.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about my future over the last few months,” said Foran from Sydney.
“Initially footy was the furthest thing from my mind and I needed time away from the game. More recently the desire to play again has completely returned and I’m very keen to make a big contribution next year.
“While I had other options, coming to Auckland emerged as the best decision for me. Being in a new environment was important but I’m also incredibly excited by the potential of the club and the quality roster it has. I can’t wait to be part of the team and I want to play a major role in 2017 in taking the club to the next level.
“I have so many people to thank for making this happen and for supporting me through what’s been a tough period.
“Now I want to repay them. The Vodafone Warriors have so much to offer and I’m looking forward to working with so many players I know from the Kiwis as well as Mooks (Stephen Kearney).”
Kearney said Foran would be a welcome arrival at the club.
“He’s such a high-quality footballer and competitor who will add a lot to our squad,” he said.
“Kieran and I have been in contact throughout the year and I know he has made a lot of progress with the challenges he has had. I’m extremely pleased to have him on board.”
Foran joined Parramatta this year after 147 appearances for Manly from 2009-2015. He had nine games for the Eels, the last of them against Newcastle on May 30.
In 156 games he has been on winning sides 97 times while he has been involved in one draw and 58 losses.
Foran was in Manly’s premiership-winning side against the Vodafone Warriors in 2011 and again in the 2013 grand final when the Sea Eagles lost to the Sydney Roosters. He was also a vital figure in the Kiwis’ successful Four Nations campaign in 2014.
Date of Birth: July 13, 1990
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Clubs: Ellerslie Eagles, Asquith Magpies
Rep Honours: 20 Tests for Kiwis (2009-2015), NRL All Stars (2013 & 2015)
NRL Debut: Manly v Canberra, Brookvale Oval, June 21, 2009 (Round 15)
NRL Career: 156 appearances (2009-2016)
Manly: 147 appearances (2009-2015)
Parramatta: 9 appearances (2016)
NRL Points: 148 points (35 tries, 4 goals)