Canterbury's Kieran Foran in action at Bulldogs training. Credit Bulldogs Digital.
Canterbury's Kieran Foran in action at Bulldogs training. Credit Bulldogs Digital.

Foran ready to rise from the ashes

KIERAN Foran has been to hell and back on and off the field in the past three years.

But after playing a total of 38 games since leaving Manly in 2015, the now 28-year-old is ready to re-emerge in 2019 and prove he is not a spent force in the NRL.

That is the verdict from Canterbury chief executive Andrew Hill who has revealed the club's marquee playmaker remains on track to start the season despite suffering a recent hamstring strain.

Hill said Foran had missed a couple of training sessions during the past week.

But that should not stop him from playing in the club's only top grade trial against Canberra on February 23.

"I am sure Kieran will get some game time," Hill said in relation to the trial against the Raiders in Bega.

"He had a slight hamstring strain the last week.

"But apart from that he has been to every session doing everything that has been asked of him. He has been very good.

What remains of Kieran Foran?
What remains of Kieran Foran?

"He has trained really well, probably his best off-season for many years in terms of getting his body right."

On a reported $1.2 million a season with two years left to run on his Canterbury contract, this will be a make or break year for the former New Zealand skipper.

After debuting for Manly in 2009 under Des Hasler, Foran's career fell apart after leaving the Sea Eagles.

He only played nine games for Parramatta in 2016 and 17 for the Warriors in 2018.

Foran only lasted 12 games in 2018 before a toe injury ended his season.

He also underwent wrist surgery last year and it's no secret Foran will also have to continue managing a back problem for the rest of his career, while his hamstring issues also have been ongoing.

But at his best Foran is undoubtedly one of the bravest and best players in the comp.

Foran is on close to $1.2 million a season.
Foran is on close to $1.2 million a season.

And how he performs this year will go a long way to determining the team's overall success, with the Bulldogs among the favourites to claim the wooden spoon.

"It is a big year for all of us but he is obviously important to us," Hill said.

"He will be looking to have a really strong year personally, no doubt."

Foran has deliberately kept himself out of the spotlight in recent years but Hill said he was committed to taking on a leadership role with young halves partners Lachlan Lewis and new recruit Jack Cogger.

"We have some good young halves with Lachie and Jack Cogger and there is that challenge for him to be a real leader for us," Hill said.

"He obviously had his surgeries middle-to-late last year and he has had plenty of time to recover.

"He is training really well and working really well with the other halves."

After the salary cap struggles of last year, Hill said the club had now finalised its 30-man roster after handing the final spot to young centre Morgan Harper.

The club has lost a stack of experience but Hill was confident the club was back heading in the right direction.

"We continue to work hard and make tough decisions that are in the best interest of the club," Hill said.

"It is still a work in progress. We are a lot better than where we were."