Troubled star Kieran Foran has signed with the Warriors as he looks to resurrect his NRL career.
The Auckland-based club have announced the 26-year-old former Manly and Parramatta playmaker will join the club in 2017 on a one-year deal.
Managing director Jim Doyle said Foran told him at the weekend that a move to Auckland was his preference as he continued to rebuild his life and resume his playing career.
“I’ve been in touch with Kieran regularly this year to offer support as he has dealt with the well-documented challenges he has been facing,” he said.
“We have worked through the option of coming to Auckland carefully with him. There has been much to consider in creating an environment for Kieran to not only return to football but also to put all the support around him that he needs.”
Foran hasn’t played since July, when he was granted a release from Parramatta in the first season of a lucrative four-year deal.
Three months earlier, he was admitted to a Brisbane rehabilitation clinic to address personal issues.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about my future over the last few months,” Foran said from Sydney.
“Initially, footy was the furthest thing from my mind and I needed time away from the game. More recently, the desire to play again has completely returned and I’m very keen to make a big contribution next year.”
Auckland-born Foran moved to Australia with his family as a youngster.
He made 147 appearances for Manly from 2009-15 and was part of their grand final-winning side in 2011 against the Warriors.
The 20-Test Kiwi said he had other options, but coming back to city he last lived in at the age of 10 emerged as the best decision.
“Being in a new environment was important but I’m also incredibly excited by the potential of the club and the quality roster it has,” he said.
“I can’t wait to be part of the team and I want to play a major role in 2017 in taking the club to the next level.
“I have so many people to thank for making this happen and for supporting me through what’s been a tough period.”
Foran’s arrival will increase the Kiwis’ representation at the Warriors and give them an all-Test spine that also includes fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who is coming back from injury, halfback Shaun Johnson and hooker Issac Luke.
They will also have former Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney as their new mentor.