Foran: There's a weight off my shoulders
After announcing this week that he will leave the Warriors at the end of the year, Kieran Foran expressed his relief at having his future sorted.
After months of speculation about where he would be playing beyond 2017, the 26-year-old playmaker has confirmed he will return to Sydney next year in order to be closer to his two children.
Speaking to media ahead of Saturday's match against the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium, Foran admitted the process of sorting his future had started to have a negative impact on his performances on the field.
"It's been weighing on my mind the last couple of weeks," Foran said.
"It's always hard when you are weighing up where your future [lies], it does weigh on your mind and it can become a bit of a distraction.
"I have certainly noticed it's been that way for me the last couple of weeks, so it will be good to put that behind me.
"I probably haven't played too poor the last couple of weeks [but] I certainly don't think I have been at my best."
"Being able to come back to New Zealand, back to my homeland, and take myself out of that environment for this year, it has changed my life forever."
After parting ways with the Parramatta Eels midway through 2016, Foran linked with the Warriors at the end of September on a one-year deal.
At the time the Kiwi international was still overcoming shoulder surgery and his playing future was dependant on a clearance from the NRL following off-field issues.
Given those circumstances when he first signed with the club, Foran expressed his gratitude to the Warriors for handing him a second chance.
"I was having that discussion with a family member last night, I was saying that coming to New Zealand this year will be the year that changed my life forever," Foran said.
"Things weren't great for me back in Sydney, my life had taken a downward spiral and it was out of control really.
"Being able to come back to New Zealand, back to my homeland, and take myself out of that environment for this year, it has changed my life forever.
"The Warriors gave me an opportunity to get not only my life back on track, but to get my football career back on track.
"I will forever be grateful and thankful to the Warriors for giving me that opportunity and hopefully I can play my part in leaving something behind."
Meanwhile coach Stephen Kearney backed Foran to go to new levels on the field following the announcement.
In five NRL Telstra Premiership matches this year Foran has averaged 80 run metres and laid on three try assists.
"I think it will have a significant impact, it's been a real worry [and] draining time for him," Kearney said.
"He is a deep thinker and I think that over the course of the last month in particular it has had an impact on his football.
"I see him this morning walking around a couple of kilos lighter already, because he has made the decision.
"I think it is going to be a real positive for him which will obviously be a positive for the group."