David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

Warriors: 'We haven't signed Kieran Foran'

Troubled halfback Kieran Foran looks set to sign with the New Zealand Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.
Troubled halfback Kieran Foran looks set to sign with the New Zealand Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.

The Warriors deny that Kieran Foran is set to sign a deal in the next 24 hours - but it appears more a matter of when, not if, the troubled playmaker will put pen to paper with the Auckland-based NRL club.

Rugby League Week report that the Warriors have beaten several clubs to sign the Kiwis international, with Foran agreeing to a one-year deal and the club hoping to extend his stay if he succeeds.

The report comes after the former Manly and Parramatta five-eighth met Warriors managing director Jim Doyle and toured the club's facilities at Mt Smart Stadium two weeks ago.

Doyle denies a contract has been tabled but chose his words carefully as the Warriors continue to work through negotiations with the 26-year-old.

"We haven't lodged a contract with the NRL at this point in time; we've not got any contract with Kieran at this point in time," said Doyle.

Doyle has been in regular contact with Foran in recent months and provided support as he works through numerous personal issues that saw him given time off earlier this season to attend a Brisbane rehabilitation clinic.

Foran's life unravelled this year as he struggled to cope with the breakdown of his relationship with long-term partner and mother of his two children, Rebecca Pope.

His association with controversial betting identity Eddie Hayson and allegations linking him with match fixing has attracted the interest of both police and the NRL's integrity unit.

The NRL has already said it will need assurances Foran has dealt with his off-field issues before approving his playing return and CEO Todd Greenberg last month confirmed the integrity unit want him to answer some questions in due course.

But Doyle - who was instrumental in the formation of the integrity unit during his time as the NRL's chief operating officer between 2009 and 2012 - is highly regarded among the game's leaders and remains well positioned to convince them to green light Foran's comeback.

Foran was released in July from a multi-million dollar contract with Parramatta on compassionate grounds after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the Eels round 12 win over Newcastle.

While concerns remain about his mental and physical health there are no doubts that a fit and firing Foran would be a good addition to the Warriors.

Together with halfback Shaun Johnson, hooker Issac Luke and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Foran's presence would complete an all-Kiwis test spine and provide the Warriors with an ideal replacement for Thomas Leuluai.

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