Parramatta captain Kieran Foran is confident of a full season at his new NRL club after waving off a troublesome hamstring injury – but he’s less sure on teammate Anthony Watmough.
Veteran Watmough was last week forced to hose down reports of an immediate retirement as he continues to battle a debilitating knee injury that has him in doubt for their season-opener against Brisbane.
Foran said his former Manly teammate had been participating strongly in training but was unsure of when Watmough would return to the field.
“We’re not too sure what’s going on there. He’s obviously got that knee problem that’s been lingering there throughout the pre-season,” Foran said on Monday.
“I haven’t had many discussions with him at all, (but) he’s just been training as usual and doing exactly what everyone else has been doing.
“As far as we’re concerned, we’re just training like he’s going to be part of the team this year.”
Foran has previously admitted that his own recurring hamstring strain had hampered his first pre-season in club colours, but allayed concerns over his fitness.
“It’s going really well. It’s getting stronger and stronger by the day and I’m optimistic that I won’t have any problems with it this year,” he said.
Ahead of Thursday night’s NRL opener between the Eels and Broncos, Foran predicted last year’s heartbreaking grand final defeat would be weighing heavily on Brisbane’s minds.
“I’m sure that grand final loss will still be in the back of their minds and they’ll want to make sure that they get off to a good start,” he said.
Club captain Tim Mannah said the difficult opener would reveal just how far away the new-look Eels, buoyed by a summer spending spree that netted Foran, Beau Scott, Michael Gordon and Michael Jennings, are from matching it against the competition heavyweights.
“They’re a powerhouse club. Last year they set the benchmark for where teams need to be at. It’s an opportunity for us this week to see where we’re at, how we’ve prepared this summer,” Mannah said.