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27 Mar 2017 0:06
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Foran out of Bulldogs clash, Vatuvei in

    Troubled Warriors recruit Kieran Foran will not make his debut for the NRL club against the Bulldogs in Dunedin on Friday.

    - article from

    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Warriors recruit Kieran Foran has been officially ruled out of the NRL side's clash with the Bulldogs on Friday with injury.

    The troubled 26-year-old playmaker received clearance to return to the NRL last Saturday, and is eligible to play for his new side in their Dunedin match.

    But the Kiwis five-eighth continues to struggle with a long-term shoulder injury picked up last year at Parramatta and has not been able to recover in time.

    Boss Stephen Kearney told reporters Foran was a more likely option for next week's match against the Dragons in Sydney, or against the Titans in a fortnight.

    He could be seen training with the NSW Cup side in Auckland on Tuesday.

    "He's ticking along well - it won't be this week," Kearney said.

    Foran has not played an NRL match since May 30 last year, having quit the game to address personal issues and his mental health.

    Young gun Ata Hingano will retain the No.6 jumper after starting in both round one and round two, while Shaun Johnson will play his customary halfback role.

    Elsewhere, veteran winger Manu Vatuvei will mark his first NRL appearance of 2017 in Otago after being named on the left flank.

    The 31-year-old has been held back by a pre-season knee issue but will return to the fold after a pair of bulldozing performances with the NSW Cup side.

    He will replace the crocked Tui Lolohea, who has been named among the extended reserves, while Ken Maumalo will switch to the right wing.

    "I've liked what Manu's been doing for a long time, he's very experienced, 200-plus games of NRL, he's done the business in the past," Kearney said.

    "He didn't get the opportunity to play in any trials so the idea was to give him some game time (and) I'm happy with that.

    "He brings a strong carry and that experience."

    Vatuvei is not the only stalwart to slip back into the Warriors XIII, with Jacob Lillyman and Bodene Thompson resuming prop and back-row roles respectively.

    Both have appeared off the bench in the first fortnight of NRL action, with Charlie Gubb and Bunty Afoa preferred from the first minute.

    A fourth stalwart, Simon Mannering, will equal Stacey Jones' record for most Warriors appearances on Friday night with 261.

    "He represents everything we want this club to be," Kearney said.

    "You could count on half a hand the number of games (in which) he hasn't been up to his usual level."

    Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is also likely to play as he continues to work his way back from a head knock and tick off the NRL's concussion protocols.

    WARRIORS: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu'a, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Ata Hingano, Shaun Johnson, Albert Vete, Issac Luke, Jacob Lillyman, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman, Simon Mannering. RESERVES: Erin Clark, Sam Lisone, Charlie Gubb, Bunty Afoa, Blake Ayshford, James Gavet, Tui Lolohea, Mason Lino.


    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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