3 Apr 2017

Shaun Kenny-Dowall backs Foran for Kiwis return

7:54 am on 3 April 2017

Kieran Foran should be welcomed back into the New Zealand side for next month's trans-Tasman Test if he's up to it, says Kiwis team-mate Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

Kieran Foran during the New Zealand Kiwis v England match in Dunedin in November 2014.

Is there an impending return to the Kiwis for Kieran Foran? Photo: Photosport

That was the reaction from Sydney Roosters flyer Kenny-Dowall after his good mate made a successful NRL return yesterday.

The classy No.6 had an immediate impact in his Warriors debut, scoring a try in his side's come-from-behind win over the Gold Coast at Mt Smart Stadium.

"If his form warrants it, he's done the work and the NRL has cleared him mentally to play rugby league again, it'll probably be the best thing for him, to just get around the boys," Kenny-Dowall told AAP.

"If he's playing good enough football, I think he should be."

It was a big step for Foran after a tumultuous 10 months which has included surgery to overcome a shoulder injury, a public battle with personal demons and a probe into his links with gambling identity Eddie Hayson.

Foran has four more games in front of him before the 5th May Test against Australia in Canberra and it remains to be seen if coach David Kidwell will look to him so soon.

But for the Kiwis he may be their best option.

Thomas Leuluai, who wore the No.6 for the New Zealand for three games during last year's Four Nations has moved to the English Super League with Wigan.

Melbourne back-rower Tohu Harris, who filled in at five-eighth during the Four Nations final, isn't due back from a foot injury for several weeks while Penrith half Te Maire Martin may be viewed as too young after just 11 first grade appearances.

"He's proved what he can do in the New Zealand jumper before and he's a competitor and a great football player," Kenny-Dowall said of Foran.

"He'll be a great asset to New Zealand rugby league if he's ready to go."

Foran stopped at airport

Meanwhile, the Warriors are confident their star recruit won't be stopped and interviewed by New South Wales police the next time they travel to Australia.

Foran was briefly detained at Sydney airport last weekend and had his phone taken off him as the team arrived for their match against St George Illawarra.

The five-eighth eventually sat out against the Dragons because of a late hamstring injury.

Foran has admitted to a gambling problem in the past and his relationship with controversial punter Eddie Hayson, who has denied betting on matches being investigated by police, has been in the spotlight.

Warriors managing director Jim Doyle says Foran has been back to Sydney eight or nine times since joining the club late last year.

"Maybe twice, they've taken his phone from him so it's not an issue from our point of view," Doyle said.

"I spoke to them and they said it's because of the ongoing investigation and his association in the past with Eddie Hayson."

Doyle noted that Foran had spent seven hours with the NRL integrity unit and he said the player was not under any investigation.

"It's just that every now and again when he goes in, a red flag comes up and they stop him and asked him a few things," he said.

"We've actually spoken to them and they've said they're going to take his name off the list because there's nothing more to ask him.

"So I would imagine the next time we're go back, nothing will happen."

The Warriors next cross the Tasman for their match against the Canberra Raiders on 15 April.


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