After missing the chance to play rep football for the All Blacks for over two years, Kieran Foran has indicated that he would like to participate for New Zealand for a Test with Tonga.
Injuries have hampered Foran for some time, including the second half of last year.
Foran now appears to be at full strength after missing five games from the Canterbury Bulldogs due to an ankle complaint.
“My body’s starting to feel really good,” Foran said ahead of Monday’s public holiday NRL clash with St George Illawarra.
Foran’s body is hopefully still good, better than the rest of the club, as the Dogs were slain 36 – 12 by St. George in Round 13 of the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition.
The 28-year-old five-eighth and halfback is expressing optimism over the fact that he has been playing 80 minutes of football for a month now, with his ankle feeling fine and nothing other than minor issues, such as those that are to be expected from playing rugby.
“When I say no niggles, I’ve always got niggles,” Foran told reporters. “But it’s nice just to be playing 80 minutes every week and backing up. That’s what I’m challenging myself to do hopefully for the rest of the year.”
Foran can now spend the next interim waiting by the phone for a call up from All Black headquarters in Auckland.
Foran will have to get ahead of Kodi Nikorima and Shaun Johnson. Johnson has been experiencing hamstring issues for a month and a half, but he is expected to be on the ground for his Cronulla club when the Sharks play the Raiders.
Foran would be just one option. He has 21 Test caps, but New Zealand always has more players than it has spots available.
Foran says that he still has the desire to play rep football, even sounding a bit poetic or philosophical in saying, “The flame’s always burning deep inside. That never goes away. For a New Zealander, that’s as good as it gets for us,” he said.
Hurting Foran’s prospects of selection is possibly the fact that the Bulldogs are on the bottom of the NRL ladder.