Arthur remains hopeful Foran will play
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur says star recruit Kieran Foran will be assessed right up until Thursday evening if he comes through Wednesday morning's final training session unscathed.
Arthur also confirmed that last year's back-up half, Luke Kelly, would come into the 17 rather than new recruit Mitch Cornish if Foran is ruled out.
Foran has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring issues that troubled him during his final season at Manly last year and recently revealed he had only had two ball-work sessions with the rest of the team ahead of the club's final trial, against Penrith, in what was his first hit-out in blue and gold.
"We haven't trained this morning yet so we'll see how he pulls through the training session. We're hopeful but it's not the end of the world. It's Round 1," Arthur said on Wednesday.
"Luke Kelly will play if 'Foz' is not right... I've got no idea [what Foran's chances are]; until we get out there and train I've got no idea."
If Foran did get through the session Arthur said he would be reassessed on the morning of the game and even at the ground.
"He's going to train and if he gets through training we'll see how he wakes up in the morning and see how he presents at the game," Arthur added.
Expanding on his decision to run with just one dummy-half in his 17 for Round 1, Arthur backed hooker Nathan Peats to get through 80 minutes and confirmed last year's reserve rake Isaac De Gois would play NSW Cup.
"I know 'Peatsy' can get through the 80 in terms of his fitness levels – he's probably the fittest in our club. There's no questions there but it's footy, anything can happen and if 'Peatsy' goes down we'll have to come up with another plan," Arthur said.
Arthur wouldn't be drawn on speculation lock Anthony Watmough would be forced to retire after the latest injury setback on his troublesome knee, but backed Tepai Moeroa – used at lock in the final trial – to take his chances.
"Choc, he still hasn't been able to join us on the training paddock yet, he got a new injury at training a couple of weeks ago. We're just giving him some time off his legs. We'll see how he goes in a couple of weeks but the plan is to try and get him back out there as soon as we can," Arthur said.
"[Retirement] is Choc's call. At this stage he's trying to get out there and play football and we'll see what happens.
"Always with injuries someone misses out, it gives someone else an opportunity. Tepai had an opportunity throughout the trials and he played really well but trials, Nines, it's a different situation now, Round 1, every game counts."
Of the Broncos, who easily disposed of Wigan 42-12 over in England during the recent World Club Series, Arthur said they would be better again on Thursday with Test half Ben Hunt back from suspension.
"They played really well overseas, they left off last year they got straight into it. The inclusion of Ben Hunt will give them a bit more direction, they'll be tough," Arthur said.