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Foran cleared by NRL to play for Warriors

NZN 15/02/2017 Steve Zemek and Angelo Risso

Kieran Foran has severed ties with controversial gambling identity Eddie Hayson after being cleared to return to the NRL.

The NRL on Wednesday rubber-stamped the troubled 26-year-old's deal to join the Warriors for the 2017 season.

He will be forced to sit out the first two rounds but will be available for Stephen Kearney's side for their round-three clash with Canterbury in Dunedin.

The former New Zealand Test playmaker was being scrutinised by the governing body after his fall from grace and exit from Parramatta midway through last year.

Following the breakdown of his long-term relationship and overdosing on prescription medication, Foran sought to take leave from the game citing mental health problems.

He was also scrutinised over his association with former brothel owner Hayson, a key figure in police investigations into match-fixing allegations.

Foran has consistently denied his relationship with Hayson had been improper but has cut links to satisfy the league he is fit and proper for a NRL returned.

"With Kieran over here, that association (with Hayson) is no longer there," Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said.

"From the NRL's point of view, that's a big thing. They don't want players associating with colourful people, whatever you want to call it."

He has had strict conditions placed on him by the NRL in a bid to avoid a repeat of past problems.

Doyle said he was confident Foran would not fall back into bad habits as the club threw their full efforts and resources behind him.

Foran is likely to make his first appearance for his new side on Friday, March 17 against the Bulldogs - who are coached by his former mentor Des Hasler.

Hasler coached Foran to the NRL title at Manly and reportedly tried to lure him to Canterbury before the Warriors won the race for his signature.

Foran has satisfied the NRL he is mentally fit to return to the playing field, however must pass one final psychological evaluation.

"Naturally, I would love to return in round one because I love rugby league and I love being part of the Warriors' squad," Foran said.

"But both the Warriors and NRL have put my welfare first throughout so I am just happy that my contract is registered and I now have a date for my return."

Foran's arrival will heap pressure on new Warriors coach Kearney who this year will field a side boasting an all-Kiwi spine of Foran, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke.

The success-starved and notoriously under-performing Warriors will be expected to finish top four. Bookmakers immediately wound in their odds following Wednesday's announcement of Foran's signature.

He is signed for just the 2017 season but Foran has expressed his willingness to remain at the Warriors long term, according to Doyle.

"Kieran doesn't see himself as a player who hops from club to club - you've seen that at Manly," Doyle said.

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