Kieran Foran will return alongside Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to boost the New Zealand rugby league team this year, Australian coach Mal Meninga has predicted.
Foran is in line to make his return to the NRL this weekend for the NZ Warriors in their match against Gold Coast in Auckland on Sunday, pending a fitness test on the hamstring that stifled his comeback last week.
Meninga is confident the 26-year-old, who left Parramatta last season due to personal issues, can find his touch in time for the Anzac Test in Canberra on May 5.
"Their spine is special," Meninga told AAP. "Once they start firing for the Warriors, it'll be fairly formidable."
With Foran joining Tuivasa-Sheck among the Kiwis backs and Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo leading their pack, Meninga is expecting a tough battle in the nation's capital.
"They've got such a great team and array of talent," Meninga said.
New Zealand will be itching to avenge last year's 34-8 Four Nations final defeat, as both sides build towards the World Cup at the end of the year.
"They'll be biting the bit to get back at us," Meninga said. "We got them well last year, they'll want to make amends.
"It's always a difficult game, that's what makes it exciting. They love throwing the ball around, so it's pretty exciting footy."
Meninga believes Foran's return to the NRL and test football will aid the star five-eighth's recovery.
"That's why rugby league is good for people like Kieran - it gives them a good outlet," Meninga said. "When he starts playing [well], you want to be recognised for that and that's where rep stuff comes into play.
"Obviously, playing for your club is important. If you're playing really well, you should be rewarded for that."