Kieran Foran is playing with fire by returning to Sydney.
That was the suggestion from Warriors boss Jim Doyle, who says he hopes the Canterbury Bulldogs put the right support around the troubled Kiwis playmaker when he takes up a three year contract with them from next season.
And former Aussie forward Mark Geyer - who faced tough times in his own playing career - has expressed surprise and concern about Foran's decision to play for another Sydney club so soon after his 2016 collapse.
Doyle told the Radio Sport Breakfast that Foran's close family, including his mother, wanted him to stay in Auckland for his own security and safety, but the player made the decision to be closer to his kids.
Foran came to the Warriors for the 2017 season after an emotional collapse and suicide attempt in 2016, while also dealing with an NRL investigation into his links with undesirable gambling elements in Sydney which led to him being suspended.
His career was basically in tatters, a serious shoulder injury among the many issues.
The rumour mill suggests he was on a yearly contract around $500,000 with the Warriors, and will get about double that per season at the Bulldogs.
Doyle said he was concerned about how Foran, who quit his Parramatta contract in 2016, would cope when he returned to Sydney.
"It is one of the main reasons his family wanted him to stay here...they've got to make sure he's working with the right people over there," Doyle said.
Listen: Jim Doyle on the Radio Sport Breakfast
"Yes, yes, it is (a concern). We've talked about it a lot and that's something he'll no doubt continue to work with specific people over there. He got himself into a pretty dark hole just over a year ago, hopefully he'll be much stronger and will have learnt from the past and not get himself back into that position."
"That's one of the main reasons his family were keen for him to stay here as well. Unfortunately it was not meant to be. We'll make sure he's working with the right people over there."
Warriors coach Steve Kearney told Radio Sport's Martin Devlin: "He was really broken and we are pleased with where he is at. I had a real concern for him.
"We exhausted every opportunity to make it work but totally respect when two young children are involved."
Geyer told Radio Sport that Foran's "life is back on a good track and it's all to do with the New Zealand Warriors.
"There is a touch of surprise. We were hearing he was having second thoughts.
"It has been so beneficial for him. I hope he knows what he's getting in to going back to Sydney.
"Being back in the fish bowl...it's going to be interesting to see how he reacts to it. You've got to be surrounded by good people.
"I look at how he was last year..."
While many observers believed Foran always intended to return to Sydney after just one season with the Warriors, Doyle claimed the player had left the decision as long as possible in the hope he could remain with the Auckland club.
Foran had met with his ex-partner and their respective lawyers in Sydney last week, when he was in Australia for the Anzac test match in Canberra.
"Unfortunately they couldn't come up with a solution," Doyle said.
"Last week he was certainly keen to stay longer but only if he could work out something with his ex-partner in regards to the kids."
Doyle and Kearney said they had made backstop moves in regards to seeking a new No. 6 but wasn't clear on whether the Warriors would try to lure a player from another club.