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Foran set for Warriors home debut

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/03/2017
The Warriors have named Kieran Foran on an extended bench for their NRL clash with St George Illawarra. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images The Warriors have named Kieran Foran on an extended bench for their NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

Kieran Foran is poised to make his belated Warriors debut this week, named at standoff for Sunday's fifth-round NRL match against Gold Coast in Auckland.

A hamstring twinge in the the warm-up to last Sunday's clash against St George Illawarra forced the 26-year-old Kiwi international to the sidelines for the 26-12 loss in Sydney.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said on Tuesday that Foran is now in line to appear for his new club for the first time in front of his home crowd.

"Kieran felt a twinge in his hamstring in the warm-up and it wasn't worth the risk to play him," he said.

"He had good power in the leg at the time and has responded well since. He's making good progress.

"We're certainly hopeful he will be able to play and will give him every opportunity to prove his fitness."

In the reshuffle forced by Foran's late injury on Sunday, Kearney moved Tuimoala Lolohea to standoff, centre David Fusitu'a to Lolohea's spot on the right wing and 18th man Blake Ayshford into the centres.

Ayshford backed up from an 80-minute effort for the Warriors reserve grade side with another 80 minutes against the Dragons.

The 28-year-old Ayshford has been named on the right wing for Sunday's game, while the starting pack named is the same as that used against the Dragons.

The bench again includes Sam Lisone as well as James Gavet and Ligi Sao, who both had their first NRL outings of the season last weekend.

In 43 minutes on the field, Gavet made 129 metres from 15 runs, Jacob Lillyman the only Warriors forward to carry the ball more with 151 metres from 15 runs.

Gavet says that although last week's loss to the Dragons was disappointing, he's confident the team are close to clicking.

"There's just a few small things we need to fix, we're nearly there," he said.

"We don't really go off how we're going on the table or how many points have been put on us, or the points we've been scoring.

"We've taken on an attitude in the club to just focus on our next job."

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitu'a, Solomone Kata, Ken Maumalo, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Charlie Gubb, Issac Luke, Jacob Lillyman, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering.

Interchange: Nathaniel Roache, James Gavet, Sam Lisone, Ligi Sao, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, Mason Lino, Mafoa'aeata Hingano.

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