Kieran Foran will not be able to represent New Zealand in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.
The Warrior five-eighth has been struggling through injuries for quite some time and never lived up to his potential in the Telstra 2017 NRL Premiership competition. Foran has at least two issues, his back has been balky and his quadriceps injuries need time to heal.
Rugby players, between league, international and interstate play, not to mention code hopping, have some of the heaviest workloads of any athlete participating in team sports. Even though, at the top ranks of professional sports, most of the top athletes work at their trade the year round, rugby players are constantly competing, whereas the others have at least some period of weeks or months that do not involve constant contact, hitting and tackling.
Kiwis Coach David Kidwell has been in touch with Foran and has been kept apprised of Foran’s physical condition.
In Foran’s place, Te Maire Martin of the North Queensland Cowboys is likely to fill in during the World Cup tournament, but Thomas Leuluai of the Wigan Warriors could receive some consideration. He would move from hooker, in which case Issac Luke or Danny Levi could be slotted at hooker.
It appears that Foran’s absence will not return Benji Marshall, but Kodi Nikorima is considered another option for the halves.
Foran told The Sunday Telegraph that he tore his quadriceps muscle during the recently concluded NRL season, and his inability to lift the Warriors was tough on Warriors fans, as well as on Foran himself.
Foran bolted the Parramatta Eels following just nine games there in 2016, but he made his name in 147 games with the Manly Sea Eagles. He is headed to Canterbury Bulldogs for 2018, but it would seem that, even though he is just 27 years of age, his best days as a saviour for a struggling club are behind him.
The announcement gives the Kiwi selectors a month remaining between now and their first game against Samoa at Mount Smart Stadium.