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NRL wrong to block Foran return: Johnson

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/10/2016 James MacSmith
Kieran Foran © AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts Kieran Foran

It would be wrong for the NRL to block Kieran Foran's return to rugby league and prevent the Warriors recruit from getting his life back on track, says his new teammate Shaun Johnson.

Foran has committed to the Warriors on a one-year deal for the 2017 season, after leaving Parramatta in July due to personal issues.

But the premiership winner and injured Kiwis half is no guarantee of returning to the NRL next year.

His contract has to be ratified by the game's powerbrokers, who are concerned about his off-field issues in particular his friendship with controversial gambling identity Eddie Hayson.

Foran posted pictures of himself training in the Warriors gym this week as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.

Johnson, who is a close mate of Foran's, said the Manly title winner deserves the chance to turn his life around.

"If they (the NRL) are genuine about helping someone get their life back on track I don't see how they can really stop him playing footy in New Zealand," Johnson told AAP.

"To get him out of the hustle and bustle of Sydney and get him away from the people he surrounded himself with and he is keen to do that.

"I guess they are going to talk to him. They are going to see that he is better and it should all be pretty straight forward."

If Johnson and Foran do combine in the halves next year under new coach Stephen Kearney, the Warriors would boast one of the most exciting and devastating scrumbase combinations in the NRL.

The duo combined to deliver the Kiwis Four Nations glory in 2014.

With Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at fullback and Issac Luke at hooker the Auckland-based outfit would have a playmaking spine capable of making a genuine tilt at the club's first premiership.

That is provided Foran is given the green light to return to the NRL by the game's governing body.

"I am close to Foz so we have been talking about it and he is just really keen to get cracking with his rehab and to sort things out for himself," Johnson said.

"I think New Zealand is the perfect place for him to do that and he has good people around him.

"I am really looking forward to working through things with him, but not just that also playing some good football with him."

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