27 Mar 2017

Warriors lose as Foran fails to return

6:56 am on 27 March 2017

The Warriors were beaten 26-12 by St George Illawarra last night in Sydney as they fell to their third loss in four National Rugby League games.

Kieran Foran warms up with Shaun Johnson. Dragons v Warriors NRL rugby league match at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah Australia. Sunday 26 March 2017.

The warm-up is as far as Kieran Foran gets. Photo: Photosport

Star playmaker Kieran Foran's planned return did not go so well for the Warriors, the former Kiwi captain pulled out of the clash after injuring his hamstring in the warm-up.

The freak injury caused him to be a late scratching just five minutes before kick-off against the Dragons.

It has now been just over 300 days since Foran last set foot on an NRL field and he is battling to be fit to take on the Gold Coast Titans at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

The former New Zealand international cut a distraught figure in the sheds following the loss and will undergo assessment upon his return to Auckland today.

"He came into the sheds and felt a twinge at the top of his hamstring," coach Stephen Kearney said.

"He came in and it just didn't feel 100 percent right. Obviously it's been a long layoff for him. The last thing we wanted to do was make it worse."

"You wouldn't read about it. Under the circumstances it did throw us out a bit."

It forced Kearney into a frantic reshuffle, with 18th man Blake Ayshford rushed into the starting side and forced to play 80 minutes for the second time in two days after turning out for the Warriors' reserve grade side on Saturday.

Foran has not played since turning out for Parramatta's round 12 clash against Newcastle last May.

Foran went into the game with all eyes trained on him following his tumultuous exit from Parramatta and time in a rehabilitation facility to address personal issues.

He received clearance from the NRL to return a week earlier but was held back from the side's loss to Canterbury because of a shoulder injury.

The Warriors are desperate for a spark of inspiration following their 1-3 start and Foran's return will be warmly welcomed.

Kearney said while early signs were positive, it was too early to know if he would be fit to take on the Titans.

The Warriors are third to last on the NRL ladder.