Kieran Foran's appearance today is surely the most anticipated debut game in Warriors history.

Where he ranks among big name Warriors recruits is a point of conjecture, but no one's first match has generated so much interest.

Foran's first bow today will captivate the league world on both sides of the Tasman, as it has strands of a Hollywood tale.

He's the kid from Ellerslie who Warriors fans hope could provide the missing link at Mt Smart, even for a season.


He's a former Manly hero -- and NRL golden boy -- who has been about as low as one could go over the past 12 months, both professionally and personally.

In July last year there seemed a very real chance he might never be seen on a league field again, such was his mental and emotional abyss.

The only other Warriors' debut that comes remotely close in terms of hype was probably Sam Tomkins in 2014, with huge interest in how Super League's 'Million dollar man' would adapt to the NRL.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's arrival was keenly followed in 2016, as he came off a marquee year at the Roosters and then were high levels of excitement around Brent Tate, Feleti Mateo, Steve Price and Ruben Wiki.

John Kirwan's code switch in 1995 generated publicity -- mainly out of curiosity -- while the arrivals of Greg Alexander, Dean Bell, Denis Betts and Andy Platt were also keenly scrutinised.

But nothing like this; maybe only Stacey Jones' second "debut" in 2009 attracted so much interest both within and outside the sport.

But it won't bother Foran. He was relieved to obtain the final clearance from the NRL three weeks ago, and has been encouraged by how his shoulder has been coping with contact work over the last fortnight.

Foran is believed to be in a good mental space and returning to the field will help his emotional state, rather than being a hindrance as it perhaps was last year.

Making his return in Australia and away from Mt Smart isn't ideal, but it will mean that most of his family will attend, with his two children also expected to be part of the Kogarah crowd today.

Foran's experience -- 156 NRL games, including six finals series -- mean that such a swift re-introduction, with no trials or match time in lower grades, shouldn't be a problem.

His troublesome left shoulder will be targeted relentlessly by the Dragons, though Ryan Hoffman and Solomone Kata will be expected to provide some defensive cover on the left edge. But Foran will help with game management and provide much needed organisation to the notoriously quiet Warriors team.

Fans shouldn't expect miracles, but most will be happy with a solid performance, and most importantly that the 26-year-old comes through unscathed.