Kieran Foran remains a riddle wrapped up in headlines, which don't feel as if they are getting us closer to the truth at all.

And anything to do with Foran must be tainted by suspicion about, firstly, Sydney league speculation and, secondly, anyone really good who signs for the Warriors.

Is the latest story emanating from Australia, that Foran's return will be significantly delayed by his shoulder problem, correct? The yarn is as vague and unconvincing as Warriors chief executive's Jim Doyle's response.

Foran's scheduled round-three appearance appears on hold, though, that's for sure.

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It is so hard to know just where Foran's career is heading, and he'll be taking the Warriors - who scored a sloppy opening round win over crappy Newcastle - up and down with him.

Not long ago, Foran was revered as a young man so apparently sound that he was, outwardly, the logical successor to Kiwis captain Simon Mannering, who carries club and country on incredibly strong shoulders.

Foran was a rare beast - an extremely tough and clever NRL five-eighth from a top drawer marked "Kiwis". New Zealand five-eighths who are the complete package don't grow on trees.

Actually, they don't grow on anything - they didn't exist before Foran.

It was as if the big league God in the sky said: "Look, you've suffered enough, New Zealand. Here, I'm going to give you a really good one."

Then it unravelled ... big time. Foran had issues.

They spilled everywhere. He over-dosed.

Then he signed for the Warriors.

Here's the first lesson - don't confuse the man you see on the field for the man. This is a little lesson for all of us, about relying too heavily on glimpses and sound bites.

Foran exuded a down-to-earth strength playing for Manly, a club famed for characters who don't do backward steps. As it turned out, it was like confusing Robert Downie Jnr with Sherlock Holmes.

Foran turned out to be complex. Human.

The player who turned up for the Eels and now Warriors was a sound bet, who had turned into a lottery.

I simply don't know what to think about Foran or, more importantly, whether the Warriors were right to sign him.

But they got rid of one wayward crowd favourite - Konrad Hurrell - and signed another, Foran. They were stunned by their own pill poppers, men who may have serious issues, then signed Foran, who has gambling and substance problems.

Foran is a blatant pet project of confident Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle, a self-made man, who may believe too much in the power of self. Whatever, Foran needs to get on the field, and quick, to snuff out his own sideshow.

The club is not a rehab centre. And there's that annoying feeling, that we haven't got a clue what's really been going on.

Doyle is building a team by luring top Kiwis from Australia, but his reputation is going to rest heavily, for now, on whether the Foran gamble pays off.

And he's given new coach Stephen Kearney a very odd conundrum to deal with.

The history of big and medium signings from Australian or English clubs isn't great. From the year dot, stars have come here looking for adventure and a decent pay day at the end of their careers or - particularly in Greg Alexander and now Foran's case - to escape trauma on the home front.

There are exceptions. Aussie wonder Steve Price was a massive success, perhaps because he was open to feeling at home here to such a degree he became a Waipu grocer. No-one would complain about Kevin Campion, but he didn't hang around.

Micheal Luck? Wow.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck - fantastic signing.

Every player has his own story and there is no sure fire formula.

But too many have come and gone too quickly, leaving a trail of disappointment and constant re-building to do. By far the most disappointing of these was James Maloney, whose career blossomed in Auckland, before his attitude flipped when Ivan Cleary was replaced by Brian McClennan.

Five-eighth Maloney was the future, but he departed prematurely.

As much as it would be nice to make a prediction about Foran, he's still in the "Too Hard To Know" basket. There are certainly rumours in media circles that he hasn't applied himself enough to the rehabilitation work.

It's a petri dish of a situation, ripe for such rumour germination.

If Foran doesn't get back on the field soon and lead from the front, Doyle's credibility will also be under-mined. There's a lot resting on that Foran shoulder.



Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was absolutely superb in his opening first-grade outing as the Warriors captain against Newcastle. His work rate is phenomenal.

But Tui Lolohea is a fish out of water on the wing and contributed almost nothing. He also made the dumbest play of the day, kicking the ball on the first tackle, after a break-out by his captain.

The win should help crowd numbers for a rare Friday night treat, when the Warriors host Melbourne. It goes without saying that the brilliantly coached and led Storm are always tough.

The Warriors tend to play well against them, and Kiwi forwards Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris are sidelined.

What the heck, I'll play dumb and predict a second consecutive Warriors victory.