David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

Warriors still need NRL to approve Foran contract

The Warriors still need the NRL to approve Kieran Foran's contract but don't anticipate any problems that would prevent him from making a playing return next season.

The Warriors will meet the NRL next week and lodge Foran's one-year contract but managing director Jim Doyle is confident the process will be straight-forward.

"There's a process we have to go through but I've spoken to the NRL already about what needs to be done and now that he's signed a contract with us they can give me more detail," said Doyle.

"I'll meet with them next week and we'll start working through that but I'm pretty confident we'll get there."

Foran is due to speak to the NRL in the coming weeks as they seek assurances he has taken steps to address numerous personal issues and is ready both mentally and physically to resume his career.

With the New South Wales police having launched a task force to investigate corruption in the NRL, Foran's hopes of a playing comeback also hinge on him answering questions from the integrity unit about rumours linking him to allegations of match fixing, his relationship with controversial gambling figure Eddie Hayson, and money going in and out of his betting account.

"He's very willing and he will go through a process and will meet and talk to them," said Doyle.

"He knows that's a part of what needs to be done.

"I've talked to him about that regularly. I've seen a change in him myself over the last few weeks."

As an unregistered player Foran is free to associate with whomever he likes, but while NRL has not stated in publicly, it is widely known the 26-year-old cannot maintain his friendship with Hayson and expect to be allowed to return to the game.

However, Fairfax media yesterday reported that Foran continues to spend time with Hayson and will keep him among his circle of friends until the NRL issues a clear directive for him to sever all ties.

Doyle would not comment on the various rumours that continue to haunt Foran but believes extracting him from his current surroundings is one of the main benefits of joining the Warriors.

The former Kiwis international realises he will be under intense scrutiny in Auckland but feels the move will provide the best chance for him to put his recent dramas behind him.
"One of the positives about coming here is that he's not living where he has been and associating with the people he's been associating with," said Doyle.

"He knows that we're 'one team, one country' and therefore there's always a big focus on the Warriors and he understands that.

"He just feels that it will be a good change and for him to turn things around, get back to where he used to be."

Foran is recovering from recent shoulder surgery but is due to arrive in Auckland ready to begin pre-season training under new Warriors coach Stephen Kearney in November.

The Warriors medical staff is in regular contact with Foran's doctor in Sydney and he remains on track to begin playing again next season.

Despite Foran's signing and reputation remaining under a cloud, Doyle insists he is the type of player he always sought to recruit in an effort to help the Warriors achieve success.

"For me, if you had a choice of who you could have in your team at any given time, he's always going to be right up at the top of that list.

"He's a pretty special kid, Kieran. He's obviously had a bit of a dark time but we'll get him back to where he needs to be."

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