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25 Jun 2017 7:05
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Kidwell to give Foran space to rebound

    Kiwis boss David Kidwell is keen to see a player of Kieran Foran's calibre back in the Test side but says the playmaker must first make a successful NRL return.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Kiwis boss David Kidwell will adopt a wait-and-see approach before ushering playmaker Kieran Foran back into the Test fold.

    The troubled 26-year-old has received full clearance to return to the NRL with his new Warriors side in Friday's round-three match against Canterbury, but has not been named in the extended 21-man squad due to a persistent shoulder issue.

    He is expected to play his first NRL game in more than nine months against either the Dragons in round four or the Titans in round five.

    The 20-cap Kiwi, who was born in Auckland and moved to Sydney aged 10, played a major role in the Test side's successful 2014 Four Nations tilt.

    Kidwell was keen to have Foran's calming on-field presence at his disposal after the side struggled for consistency in last year's failed Four Nations defence.

    But he would first have to get through his debut, build up to full match-fitness and start showing the form necessary for Test selection.

    "When Kieran Foran plays an NRL game, I'll be watching him like any other Kiwi," Kidwell said.

    "I've seen Kieran in the past when he wears the Kiwi jumper and he controls the game very well."

    Having struggled to inject leadership or drive into his troops in the Four Nations, where they lost 34-8 in the final to Australia, Kidwell was adamant a change of attitude was needed for the upcoming World Cup on home turf.

    He would only pick players who conformed to the Kiwi team culture and were keen to be there - meaning no more flirtations with Kalyn Ponga.

    The 18-year-old Cowboys livewire is eligible for both the Kiwis and Kangaroos but has wavered on his international future and is yet to make a final decision.

    Kidwell made it clear the utility wouldn't be on the Test radar until he played more NRL games and voiced a clear desire to represent New Zealand.

    "One thing I learned about last year was that I want players who want to play in the Kiwi jersey, and that's how I'll be picking the team," Kidwell said.

    "I haven't had any communication with Kalyn.

    "We just need to make sure we want committed people."

    Kidwell also said he was open to seeing Jordan Kahu, who played fullback for the Kiwis in 2016, revert to a role on the wing following Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's return.


    NZN




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