Kieran Foran credits Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson for setting a positive example and helping him get his life and NRL career back on track.
The pair are set to play their first NRL game together in today's clash against Gold Coast at Mt Smart and hope to replicate the success they've shared in the halves for the Kiwis.
Ahead of his anticipated return after almost a year away from the game, Foran has spoken of the support Johnson has provided and the pivotal role he has played in improving his character and helping him become a better person.
"I owe a lot and credit a lot of my change to Shaun because he's a wonderful young man," said Foran. "He's helped me along my way and shown me what a good man looks like. I love the bloke as a person. He's a great person first and foremost and a great player secondly. We love hanging out and spending time together and he's helped me so much. I can't speak highly enough of the bloke and I mean that."
The pair combined at international level in 2013 as part of a stellar Kiwis test spine now in place at the Warriors, with club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at fullback and Issac Luke at dummy-half.
Their partnership flourished in 2014, when they combined to help the Kiwis to back-to-back wins over Australia en route to the Four Nations title, followed by a third transtasman victory the following year.
"We have done special things together and it's brought us closer," he said. "We've played in big matches where we didn't know if we could get there, and we have, and we've instilled belief in one another in different times in our careers.
"I've tried to help Shaun with that along the years back in the day, but Shaun has really helped me in the last several months phenomenally. I don't just mean that in a football sense, I mean away from football.
"I can't wait to take the field with him and I just hope we can do great things alongside the other boys."
Foran wants to repay the Warriors' faith in him and is confident the team can remedy their poor season start. He has high expectations of himself and is convinced they can make their first finals appearance since 2011.
"I've got high hopes for this team this year and everyone around this club does. Internally, we really want to give this comp a good shake and go deep into the finals.
"I know at the moment people will be scratching their heads and saying 'well, why aren't we getting the results' but I've seen the effort we've put in, the effort the coaches have put in critiquing our game and working on certain things."
Having played in two grand finals and won a premiership with Manly in 2011, Foran knows what's required for a club to succeed. He hopes he can share his experiences and help instil a winning mentality.
"I know what I can do as a footballer and what sort of player I can be and I just want to bring my best game here. I'm hoping I can help bring a winning culture here.
"I don't mean that in a negative way, that it hasn't been here, but I just I want these boys to believe in themselves because I know that we're capable of great things."