Kieran Foran has no dramas being the old head in the Titans squad in 2023 – and the veteran playmaker is hoping to emulate some of the success he found at Manly early in his own career.
The 32-year-old will bring a wealth of NRL and representative experience with him to the Gold Coast next season, inking a two-year deal with the struggling club.
Foran has seen and done it all in rugby league, from winning a premiership with the Sea Eagles in 2011, to playing in numerous World Cups for New Zealand, as well as dealing with his fair share of personal and off-field struggles.
And his excitement surrounding his move to the Titans can’t be denied, with the Kiwi star getting stuck into pre-season training just days after returning from the UK.
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“It’s great to be here, I’m really excited – I couldn’t stay away for too long,” he told the Titans official website.
“I only just came back from the UK, but I’m really excited to come in and meet all the lads. I jumped in a few skills today to see what the boys are doing.
“A couple of reasons – once you get to my age, you probably don’t want to have too long off and you want to keep the body ticking over and keep myself in reasonable knick.
“The other reason was that I’m starting at a new club and I’m really excited about the opportunity to be here.
“I wanted to get in and come up here and see what it’s all about, and that way I can hit the ground running in the new year.”
Foran is no stranger to settling in at a new club, having stints at the Sea Eagles, Eels, Warriors and Bulldogs during his 262-game career.
But the young core at the Titans is bringing him a new sense of responsibility and purpose – the complete opposite to his early days at Manly.
“I was really fortunate when I came into first grade at Manly as a young guy,” Foran said.
“I had lots of NRL experience around me with Jamie Lyon, the Stewart boys, [Anthony] Watmough, [Steve] Matai, Jason King and Brent Kite.
“I could name them all – I had a team stacked full of guys that had played in grand finals and won premierships, and it certainly made my transition into NRL a lot smoother and a lot easier. It helps when you’ve got those senior heads out there calling the shots and leading you around.
“I think that’s why I have been brought here – at the end of the day, I’ve been playing in the NRL for 14 seasons or so now and I’ve had a fair bit of experience.
“If I can pass on those teachings to these young guys who are just starting out their NRL careers, along with a number of guys that are in their fourth or fifth season, hopefully we can combine that and really nail down our roles and have a successful year.”
Foran will link up with fellow recruit Sam Verrills in the spine, while the roles at both fullback and in the halves remain unknown heading into the 2023 campaign.
AJ Brimson will undoubtedly take up one position, but the likes of Toby Sexton, Tanah Boyd and Jayden Campbell will also be vying for spots in the starting lineup.
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Foran admitted that the likes of Brimson, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Moeaki Fotuaika make for an exciting prospect for a seasoned pro to play alongside.
“The fact that they are so young, but they have had plenty of NRL experience and gotten the last couple of seasons under their belt [is exciting],” he said.
“They’ve learned some hard lessons along the way, as you do when you’re starting out, but I feel like they are all coming into a really good phase of their NRL careers where they can start to dominate on a weekly basis.
“I’m continuously looking to learn and improve and get better each and every season, and it’s no different coming here.
“I want to take my game to a new level, I want to bring all those years of experience that I’ve had under my belt and pass on those teachings to a lot of these guys.
“I’m just chuffed to be here…hopefully I can add some experience to the group.”