Warriors sweating on Kieran Foran's fitness for Bulldogs clash.

Keran Foran (centre) needed to be helped from the field in the Warriors' last game.
GETTY IMAGES

Keran Foran (centre) needed to be helped from the field in the Warriors' last game.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney says he'll wait until Thursday before confirming if Kieran Foran will play against the Bulldogs.

The five-eighth picked up a quad injury in the 34-12 win over the Titans two weeks ago.

Kearney said Foran's recovery had been going well and will give him every opportunity to play in Friday's game at Mt Smart Stadium.

Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran arrive for training.
PHOTOSPORT

Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran arrive for training.

"He's coming along OK," Kearney said. 

READ MORE
Warriors' road to top eight
Auckland Nines may be shelved
Panthers release Hiku

 

Stacey Jones will be the sole attack coach for the remainder of the season.
ANDREW CORNAGA/PHOTOSPORT

Stacey Jones will be the sole attack coach for the remainder of the season.

"We'll give him until as late as possible, probably until the captain's run on Thursday, which is when we'll make a decision on him.

"But he's progressing and we're hopeful he'll be OK to go on Friday."

Clearly the Warriors are a better team when Foran is playing in it, but being without him is something they're going to have to get used to, when he switches to the Bulldogs next year.

When it was confirmed a couple of months ago that Foran would be leaving, Kearney said there would be announcement sooner rather than later on what the club's plans would be.

Ad Feedback

They were linked to the Panthers' Te Maire Martin, but he's joined the Cowboys and it was recently announced that Ata Hingano has signed a new deal at the Warriors to keep him at the club until the end of the 2020 season.

"It was always our plan to keep Ata, who started the first three games for us this year at five-eighth," Kearney said.

"I know the wonderful potential that he has, but he's a 19-year-old and it's a matter of making sure we create an environment for Ata and he wants to be a part of an environment, which he's committed to, where he does it consistently week to week.

"Obviously, he saw his pathway blocked if Kieran was here, so now he sees that opportunity, which is why he's committed and we're very pleased about that."

It's believed the club are no longer looking for a big name No 6 for next year and it will be Hingano who'll get the first opportunity.

Meanwhile, Kearney has revealed that club won't bring in a new coach to replace Steve McNamara, who has joined Catalans Dragons.

McNamara has already left the Warriors to be the new head coach of the French-based Super League club and Kearney said they won't try to find someone else. Instead Stacey Jones will be the sole attack coach for the remainder of the season.

"I think what Stacey has learnt off Steve has been a wonderful experience for Stacey, to be able to work with an experienced coach like him," Kearney said.

"I'll give Stacey a bit of a hand, but I'm pretty confident that he's capable of doing a good job."

With the Warriors having a bye last weekend, it's given Kearney a chance to put in some serious training with the team and work on things he hasn't been happy with.

"We were pretty adamant that we wanted to make sure we kept up the intensity and physicality of our preparations, in terms of training," he said.

"We had three days of training at the back end of last week and it was really important we maintained a high standard and a high level of intensity with those sessions and I thought the guys did a pretty good job with that.

"There are always areas of improvement," he added. 

"If I work off the back of the last game, the Titans scored a couple of tries at the back end of sets. 

"Fifty per cent of their tries came from kicks or the last play, we looked at that pretty closely during the week and we didn't do a good enough job with that.

"We're coming up against a very experienced, tough team this week in the Bulldogs. We know what we're in for, it's going to be a good, old fashioned battle."

Solomone Kata is unavailable for the Bulldogs game after being given bereavement leave to fly home to Tonga following the sudden death of his older brother on Monday.

David Fusitu'a moves in from the wing to replace Kata in the centres while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been called up for his fifth first-grade appearance.

The other change is on the bench with hooker Nathaniel Roache returning. Sam Lisone, Albert Vete and Bunty Afoa are again listed in jerseys 15-17 with James Gavet, Manu Vatuvei, Ligi Sao and Hingano rounding out the extended bench.

 

Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Blake Ayshford, David Fusitu'a, Ken Maumalo, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering. Interchange (from): Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone, Albert Vete, Bunty Afoa, James Gavet, Manu Vatuvei, Ligi Sao, Mafoa'aeata Hingano.

 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback