Kieran Foran (L) and Shaun Johnson of the Warriors.
Kieran Foran (L) and Shaun Johnson of the Warriors. Simon Watts

No move for Foran, says Bennett

BRISBANE Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has denied the club has made a move for Kiwi Kieran Foran to replace Dragons-bound Ben Hunt.

Reports had suggested that Foran, who has signed a one-year contract with the Warriors after a period of off-field turmoil, wanted to link up with Bennett as he looked to get his life back on track.

But Bennett was quick to brush off the reports, saying: "That's a media story - no one at this club has spoken to Kieran Foran or his manager."

Asked if he would be interested in Foran, Bennett said: "We are always interested in quality players but no one has spoken to him.

"I won't go into any more detail. This club has made no approaches toward Kieran Foran or his manager.

"As well as that, we have not been approached by Kieran or his manager."

Foran, 26, left Parramatta in the middle of last year, less than a 12 months into a four-season deal.

Foran then went into rehabilitation after being hospitalised due to a prescription drug overdose following the breakdown of his relationship with his long-term partner.

He was also under scrutiny for his friendship with former brothel owner Eddie Hayson, who has been linked to an on-going police investigation into match fixing.

Foran has been given permission by the NRL to return to action for the Warriors in round three.

The Kiwi star's lawyer Don MacKinnon, told the New Zealand Herald Foran had not decided anything about next year.

"He has not spoken to a single club about 2018," he said.

"His priority is entirely on getting ready for the Warriors in 2017 and having a successful year."

Hunt will head to the Dragons next year on a $6 million dollar contract.

Kodi Nikorima is seen as someone who could replace the halfback but he will not play in the NRL season opener against defending premier Cronulla at Southern Cross Group Stadium tonight.

Bennett said it was too soon for the Kiwi international to return to the big time after his time out following a shoulder reconstruction last year.

"Kodi will be a Mr Fix-it for us later in the year but he hasn't played for six months," he said.

"He had a major reconstruction on his shoulder last year so I didn't think this week's match would be one to play him in.

"Kodi only played 20 minutes of football about a week ago so he doesn't have much football behind him.

"It just didn't make sense to expose him to tomorrow's match knowing that.

"He'll get some confidence and some playing time in the Queensland Cup on the weekend, and he will get his opportunity for us soon."

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