Warriors signing Kieran Foran.
Warriors signing Kieran Foran. PAUL MILLER

Foran breaks his silence on NZ move

RUGBY LEAGUE: After a torrid past 12 months, New Zealand Warriors half Kieran Foran has finally broken his silence.

The rugby league star wasn't far from the headlines last season as he bounced from one controversy to the next and his future in the sport was no guarantee.

His multi-million-dollar contract with the Parramatta Eels was prominent throughout the club's salary cap saga, as the Eels were docked competition points and slapped with huge fines.

Foran's relationship with his partner Rebecca Pope broke down and the NRL threatened to throw him out of the game due to his links with former brothel owner Eddie Hayson.

Foran only received clearance from the NRL to restart his career last week and now the New Zealand international has opened up on his new life across the ditch.

The star spent time in a mental health clinic to deal with his personal issues, but following a tumultuous time in his personal life, Foran says New Zealand has provided a great tonic.

The move across the Tasman has brought the New Zealand born playmaker closer to family and allowed Foran to escape the fishbowl that is Sydney.

"It's been great. It's a breath of fresh air really, I needed it," Foran said.

"It's great to get out of Sydney and come home around extended family. Just to get back to my roots be around big love and start fresh at a new club."

Foran praised his new Warriors teammates for embracing him into the mix in Auckland.

The Warriors' star signing already enjoys relationships with a number of Warriors players thanks to his time with the New Zealand national side and said those established bonds had helped his transition.

"It's been brilliant. The boys have made me feel welcome from the get go," Foran said.

"This is one big family. The moment I walked through the place I got to know everyone really quick and (I'm) really enjoying my time so far."

Despite coming off a shoulder injury, Foran will be expected to make an impact at the Warriors.

He will find himself under immense pressure, as several experts believe the New Zealand side has a great chance to end its NRL premiership drought in 2017.

The halves pairing of Foran and Shaun Johnson is potentially the best in the competition. Foran's experience and on-field leadership will allow Johnson to play his more natural "off the cuff" style and it could take the Warriors to the promised land.

The introduction of new coach Stephen Kearney is also expected to result in improvement, as he and Foran have successfully worked together in the New Zealand set-up.

Despite being cleared to return and his quick transition into the Warriors fold, it doesn't mean Foran's issues are behind him.

Foran will sit on the sidelines until round three, and will continue to work with mental health professionals as part of his return.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg said in a statement when rubber stamping Foran's return to the game that rugby league played an important role in the player's ongoing rehabilitation.

"I have always said that my priority is ensuring Kieran's well-being - and his football career is secondary," Greenberg said.

"But the expert advice we recently received indicates that Kieran's recovery has reached the point where he is physically and mentally fit to return to rugby league."

News Corp Australia

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