New Warriors signing Kieran Foran has made many mistakes over the past year but the suggestion he set out to make a dying woman's last days more painful is absurd.

Foran knew a backlash would follow the NRL's decision on Wednesday to register his one-year contract with the Warriors and green light his playing return as of round three of the upcoming season.

It has come swiftly in the form of outrage out of Sydney, over threats Foran allegedly made last year to former Daily Telegraph journalist Rebecca Wilson, who last October passed away following a long battle with cancer.

Of course Foran was wrong to send text messages and make an abusive phone call to Wilson but he was not aware she was fighting a losing battle with her health.


Wilson had kept knowledge of her condition a closely guarded secret to the degree that many of her family, friends and colleagues were unaware of the severity of her illness.

And while Foran's actions cannot be condoned they can to a degree be understood in the context of a person battling mental illness.

The former Manly and Parramatta playmaker was struggling with his own demons during the time he clashed with Wilson. The same demons that had previously led to him attempting suicide by prescription pill overdose last April and which ultimately saw him granted a release from his multi-million dollar contract with Parramatta on compassionate grounds three months later.

And while the exact contents of the messages and call remain unknown, Foran's outrage stemmed from Wilson wanting to run stories detailing the collapse of his relationship with his former partner and the mother of his two children Rebecca Pope, and other potentially damaging accusations relating to his personal life.

A 25-year-old footballer, whose life and career was collapsing around him, Foran at that time was clearly lacking the ability and emotional maturity to handle the situation appropriately.

Wilson was apparently so concerned by the alarming nature of Foran's messages and call that she contacted the police, but was not disturbed enough to make a formal complaint.

In assessing Foran's case to make a playing return with the Warriors, the NRL's integrity unit grilled him during two lengthy meetings on this issue, along with the other two areas of chief concern - his association with controversial big-time punter Eddie Hayson and links to allegations of match-fixing, and ongoing concerns regarding his mental condition.

Warriors Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson watch from the stands during their loss to Parramatta Eels during the first day of the Downer NRL Nines. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Warriors Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson watch from the stands during their loss to Parramatta Eels during the first day of the Downer NRL Nines. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

Evidently the NRL were satisfied by Foran's expression of regret and remorse for his actions and not before time concluded he has since taken the appropriate steps to both distance himself from Hayson and improve his mental state.

Despite this there are many who cling to the myth that because Foran has endured mental struggles he could not possibly have recovered sufficiently over the past seven months since he stood himself down from playing.

That theory throws a blanket over all mental health issues and ignores the fact that a return to training and physical activity and a team environment would in fact be good for Foran's ongoing rehabilitation.

That was the verdict of the expert advice in the form of the initial psychological report the NRL received indicating that he is fit both mentally and physically to return to football.

But it makes a better and more salacious tale to imply Foran remains a basket case and a potential liability to both himself and the Warriors.

Foran's personal life and relationships are not as fractured as many would like to believe.

While he is separated from Pope, the pair remain on good terms and Foran is in regular contact with their two children.

Last weekend Pope took the kids from Sydney up to the Sunshine Coast where the Warriors played a trial match against Melbourne after which they traveled with Foran up to Noosa for a short break.

Another matter that's been open to loose interpretation is the suggestion Eels fans have a right to feel aggrieved by Foran being allowed to play for the Warriors.

If the Eels wanted to keep him they could have added a clause to the terms of his exit making Foran either obliged to eventually return to them or preventing him from playing for another club until his contract term had expired.

They chose not to and perhaps with an eye towards re-signing Jarryd Hayne upon his return from the NFL agreed to sever ties with Foran.

Having spoken to Foran personally over the weekend I was struck by his positive demeanor and apparent calmness despite the frustrating uncertainty of his situation.

That's not to say I don't have questions over the manner in which these matters were dealt with and the curious result that's seen Foran effectively suspended from the first two rounds.

Foran's return against the Bulldogs in Dunedin is conditional on him passing an independent psychological assessment while he is also bound by strict contractual conditions following a review of his associations with the likes of Hayson.

The NRL have cited the need to be "doubly sure" his mental health is back on track but it seems doubtful they could gain more assurances in the coming weeks that would reinforce what they already know.

We'll have to wait until Foran goes on the record to get his version of events and no doubt this saga will have a few more chapters to be added once he gets back to doing what he does best.