Kieran Foran might be coming to Auckland but there are several hurdles to overcome before he can take the field for the Warriors.

Individually, they are all significant matters. When combined, it emphasises the daunting task ahead.

Gaining his signature may have been a fillip for the franchise, but it is only the start of what might be a long, complicated process for both player and club.

Warriors managing director Jim Doyle has done his due diligence, and is obviously confident the path will be cleared, but there are a series of intangibles and unknowns.


The Herald on Sunday understands at least two clubs have already made representations to the NRL, concerned that a dangerous precedent will be set if Foran's contract is registered, given the circumstances of his exit from the game earlier this year and the ongoing issues that are being investigated by the integrity unit.

Australian media are also reporting that if Foran is not cleared to play by December, a clause inserted in the contract will allow the Warriors to void the deal.

And the player himself has a long way to go. Aside from his mental demons, how will he cope physically with the demands of pre-season and weekly games? Foran is coming off a serious shoulder injury which ended his season this year. It's unknown how much rehabilitation he has completed, although reports from Sydney indicate it hasn't been extensive.

Perhaps the most important element is Foran's willingness to embrace the new challenge and environment, his genuine desire to turn his life around. In that light, his ongoing association with controversial Sydney gambling identity Eddie Hayson is curious - the pair have been spotted together on several occasions over the last fortnight, including at race meetings.

"I'm continuing to be a friend and be mates until the NRL tell us, 'this is the drill'," Foran told the Sydney Morning Herald last week. As an unregistered player, Foran has the freedom to associate with anyone but it sends mixed signals.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg confirmed today the process of registering Foran's contract - or not - was likely to be a protracted affair.

"We will want to be very sure he has overcome all of the issues which drove him out of the game in the first place and there are some other off-field matters that would need to be worked through before we would consider registering that contract," Greenberg told Australian media.

"I would love to see Kieran Foran back on the field but we also have a duty to ensure that, in the best interests of both the player and broader game, for him to return there are a number of things to be talked [about] and to be seen. We need to work through that process. I don't anticipate that will take a short period of time. I'd say it will take some time for us to be comfortable and we can make that decision on that contract."

The Foran situation also has a wider impact. Tui Lolohea's management will meet with the club in the coming days to discuss his future at Mt Smart, although Doyle said on Friday the 21-year-old is a big part of the long-term plans at Mt Smart.