David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Kieran Foran knocks back Storm, Bulldogs in the hunt to lure him from Warriors

Kieran Foran celebrates his try against the Titans with teammates. Photo / photosport.nz
Kieran Foran celebrates his try against the Titans with teammates. Photo / photosport.nz

Melbourne is a no-go but off-contract Warriors league star Kieran Foran could find a new home at the Canterbury Bulldogs if he does decide to leave Auckland.

Foran this week knocked back the chance to sign with the Melbourne Storm and if he does leave the Warriors when his one-year contract expires at the end of the season family reasons will see him join a Sydney club.

Foran's manager Sam Ayoub called the Storm on Tuesday to inform the club the five-eighth would not consider a move to Melbourne and declined the opportunity to meet with coach Craig Bellamy during the Warriors visit to AAMI Park for next week's Anzac Day NRL clash between the two clubs.

The former Manly and Parramatta playmaker remains undecided about his playing future and Ayoub insists any potential move from the Warriors would only take the 26-year-old closer to his two young children back in Sydney.

Sydney's Nine News tonight reported that Foran had met with Canterbury management on Monday and the Bulldogs are now the leading contenders to lure him away from the Warriors.

"It wasn't so much as declining (the Storm) as it was just the honest, decent and transparent thing to do," Ayoub said of his courtesy call to Melbourne.

"It's about being straight-up and transparent with everyone about Kieran's intentions.

"Kieran still has a lot to think about and consider but if he does end up leaving the Warriors it will for family reasons and the circumstances around that.

"That's not to say Kieran is definitely going to leave the Warriors. He is happy at the Warriors and if his family circumstances could allow it he could possibly stay there."

Foran also met with Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown over the weekend following the Warriors 20-8 defeat to Canberra, but a reunion with Bulldogs coach and his former Sea Eagles mentor Des Hasler is the most likely scenario should he sign with a new club.

Last year's premiers the Cronulla Sharks have emerged as another potential suitor after losing rising star Jack Bird to the Brisbane Broncos.

Foran has made and impressive playing return in his first three outings for the Warriors following a long-term shoulder injury and almost a year out of the game. Despite a niggling hamstring problem he steered his new side to back-to-back wins over the Titans and Eels before the loss to the Raiders.

Despite the uncertainty around Foran's future, the Warriors insist his focus during their upcoming trip will be solely on preparing to play the Storm and making the most of the short turnaround before their round nine game against the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium next Sunday.

"When Kieran goes to Melbourne he's there to play for the Warriors against Melbourne Storm," Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said yesterday.

"We've got a five-day turnaround after that so he'll be preparing for the game and once the game is finished he'll be recovering and heading straight back to Auckland.

"He will not be having any time off. So he won't be visiting the Storm and looking at their facilities. He'll be on the plane with all of the rest of the players back here to prepare for the Roosters game."

It may be a month before Foran's situation is resolved.

- NZ Herald

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