NRL: Dragons an option for Tui Lolohea if Kieran Foran's Warriors deal is approved

Tuimoala Lolohea. Photo / Getty
Tuimoala Lolohea. Photo / Getty

Kieran Foran's pending NRL return for the Warriors could ultimately deliver St George Illawarra a bolt of good fortune.

Excitement machine Tui Lolohea has vowed he wants to prove himself at five-eighth next year.

And if he can't do it at the Warriors, the flying Kiwi would be prepared to move to a rival club.

At this stage there is no guarantee Foran will be allowed to return next year.

Despite signing a one-year deal with the Warriors, the NRL has said the former Kiwi captain still needs to prove he is mentally fit and ready after his controversial exit from Parramatta.

That means for now Lolohea is waiting patiently.

But if Foran gets the green light, Lolohea's agent said all bets were off.

"He doesn't want to leave and until the Foran situation is sorted out there is nothing I can do," Stan Martin told The Daily Telegraph.

"It depends on Kieran, it really does. Tui wants to stay, he doesn't want to go.

"But at the end of the day if pathways get closed he also knows that he has got a talent and he can go and ply his trade somewhere else."

While several clubs have expressed interest in the 21-year-old, the Dragons could prove the perfect fit.

Martin said Lolohea no longer wants to be known as a utility player. Asked what his preferred position was, Martin said: "Five-eighth. "So if Kieran comes and Kieran goes to five-eighth Tui will certainly not be here."

Parramatta and Newcastle have also shown interest but the Eels are planning on playing Clint Gutherson at No.6, while the Knights have Jarrod Mullen and highly regarded youngster Brock Lamb.

St George Illawarra have indicated at this point they will go with Drew Hutchison, Kurt Mann or Josh McCrone as Gareth Widdop's halves partner next year.

But no doubt Lolohea's availability would force a rethink.

Martin admitted Lolohea was disappointed when he heard Foran had signed with the Warriors, after Lolohea initially considered a move to the Eels as Foran's replacement.

Lolohea was previously promised first crack at five-eighth by former Warriors coach Andrew McFadden following Thomas Leuluai's departure to the Super League.

"Yeah he was (disappointed)," Martin said.

"But then everybody would be, wouldn't they? He is only a young man.

"Steve Kearney was the first one to ring him to be totally honest when the announcement was made that Kieran Foran was coming to the club."

Martin said he would continue to monitor Foran's situation before any final decision was made.

"I will be contacting the Warriors and asking to see what their thoughts are," he said.

Warriors boss Jim Doyle was away and unavailable for comment.

- NZ Herald

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