Parramatta fans' mixed feelings over Kieran Foran's NRL return

Warriors half Kieran Foran. Photo/Photosport
Warriors half Kieran Foran. Photo/Photosport

NRL boss Todd Greenberg has empathised with Parramatta fans hurting over the decision to allow Kieran Foran back to the game in round three.

The governing body yesterday announced that it had registered Foran's contract with the Warriors, six months after his release from a long-term deal at the Eels for personal issues.

Foran will now have to wait until the Warriors' clash against Canterbury to make his return to the NRL, an enforced rest some Eels supporters believe is too short.

"I can understand why Parramatta fans would be disappointed," Greenberg said. "But in saying that, it's important to remind people that the decision for him to leave Parramatta was one that Parramatta were involved in.

"You can't go back in rugby league, you can only go forward, but I do understand why they would think that."

Parramatta co-captain Beau Scott believes Eels fans shouldn't feel aggrieved by the NRL's determination to sit Foran out for the opening fortnight of the competition. He said some matters were simply bigger than rugby league.

"I think Parra fans are going to realise it's bigger than the game, it's about someone's health away from the game," Scott said. "It's about making sure he comes first.

"And then he ended up in New Zealand, that's what it is. We support him and wish him the best of luck.

"Hopefully he doesn't put on a match-winning performance against Parramatta.

"It's huge for the game, but more importantly, for himself. He obviously left the game last year on uncertain terms, [not knowing] if he'd ever pull on a jumper again.

"For him to be healthy and fit again, and obviously be able to play for a new club, a new home that's he's made in New Zealand, I'm very happy for him."

Warriors utility Nathaniel Roache spent almost the entire pre-season training alongside Foran in the rehabilitation ward, following the former Kiwi captain's shoulder surgery.

Roache said his new team-mate had been nothing, but a perfect role model during the summer.

"I've been with him quite a bit, because he's been in rehab, he just had his shoulder reconstruction. He's just a real good dude," Roache said. "To be honest, you'd just think he was fine the whole time.

"The first day, because we went in a bit early during pre-season, I've been with him since the start and he's been perfect."

Greenberg revealed it was a one-on-one meeting with Foran during the Auckland Nines two weeks ago that convinced him to sign off on the former Manly star's return.

He also hinted the registered contract contained a clause to severe ties with gambling identity Eddie Hayson, whose relationship with Foran came under the spotlight last year.

"I don't think it's helpful for Kieran or for us to talk specifically," Greenberg said. "But it'd be fair to say he's very aware of the responsibilities that go with being an NRL footballer and that will be more prescriptive in his contract than others."

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