‘He’s almost hit the tee and missed the ball!’
One of the best players in the NRL has made a life and career-changing decision. To get himself back to his best, he may have taken the biggest risk of all – signing with the New Zealand Warriors.
After what would seem to be a hell of a year for the former premiership-winning five-eighth, the first thing we need to do is give Kieran Foran some respect and space.
Plenty of sportsmen and women go through depression and periods of uncertainty during the course of their careers, and I just want to clarify that none of these opinions or ideas are in malice to Kieran or any of his family or friends.
The Warriors have all the makings to become a premiership side. They have big, fast outside backs, strong and agile forwards, and now with Foran on board, they boast a spine of international players, which is incredibly rare especially in the modern game – particularly as they play for the same international side.
Once again, the pressure will be on them to perform, but I believe that Foran could be one of the keys to help get the Warriors their maiden title.
For so long the Warriors have been on a hunt for a half to compliment Shaun Johnson. The club has gone through numerous suitors including Chad Townsend, Tui Lolohea, Jeff Robson, Thomas Leuluai, and that’s only been in the last two years.
But now, they have a genuine five-eighth that has proven to be one of the best in the business in Kieran Foran.
Foran possesses all the qualities of a great half: tenacity, brains, toughness and finesse, and best of all, his organisation. Coupled with his cool and calm approach, that will compliment Johnson perfectly. I know the same has been said that before with other halves, but this time it’s more evident, especially with the pair having played together for New Zealand.
Foran is just on another level compared to Johnson’s previous halves partners. No doubt if the two strike up a combination, it could be one of the best in the league.
On to personal matters, I believe that New Zealand could be a haven of sorts for the troubled young star. With so much controversy surrounding him, the lack of attention in Auckland could very well be a blessing for him.
While there still would be some media around him, there will be much less of a spotlight on him than in Sydney where the cameras are practically on league players 24/7. In Sydney, 99 per cent of the time it’s negative.
The lack of exposure will no doubt be beneficial for Kieran to get himself back on track to play professional rugby league and get back to the form we want to see him in.
Of course, there are possible consequences to every situation. The Warriors’ well known poor culture could be a negative thing for Foran. The lack of professionalism was documented a few years ago when Sam Tomkins departed, and it shows with their results.
Having been under the Sea Eagles’ positive winning culture for so long may see Foran get a rude shock when he gets to Auckland. The people in high places at the Warriors may be hoping that newly appointed head coach Stephen Kearney can turn things around, however there is still plenty to be done. Until the club can begin to take things seriously and come out with the intent of performing consistently every week, it could very well be a place where Foran’s form regresses.
Furthermore, being so far away from family and friends, especially children, could work against Foran. I’m hoping for his sake that he can build a good support base around him, which is already evident in his decision to be closer to godfather Don McKinnon in NZ, who is thought to have helped Kieran quite a lot in the last few months.
I sincerely hope that Kieran Foran can get his life back on track in New Zealand. Such a talented and well-liked player deserves a chance to get his life back in order, and while the Warriors are a hit and miss team, I think there is every reason to believe he can be a success there.