Manly legends Cliff Lyons and Steve Menzies fear Kieran Foran will come back to bite the Sea Eagles on his first return to Brookvale Oval with Parramatta.
Foran will face the team with whom he won the 2011 NRL Premiership for the first time on Thursday night, at a time the Sea Eagles could desperately do with his services given the injury to halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
And while Menzies and Lyons understand there was little Manly could do to keep the pair together together, they believe Foran – who played his best game of the season on Saturday against Canberra – will want to hurt Manly immediately.
“He’s a world-class player, so it’s good timing for Parramatta and not so good for the Sea Eagles,” Menzies told AAP.
“He will want to perform better against them for bragging rights and just to show `hey, look what you’re missing out on’.”
Manly need look no further than their current line-up for the motivation players draw on when confronting their former club for the first time.
Martin Taupau was their best against the Wests Tigers in round two, and captain Jamie Lyon scored three tries in his first two matches against Parramatta in 2007.
And now club legend Lyons fears Foran might ensure Manly cops the same treatment.
“He will be thinking about that,” Lyons said.
“He will get a bit of extra attention I would say, but he would want to play well against Manly back at Brookvale.”
Foran is one of the first high-profile Sea Eagles to fly the coup in the prime of their career this century.
Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Matt Ballin were all injured and over 30 when they left the club in recent times.
Only Foran’s 2009 under-20s teammate, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, stands out as someone Manly could have desperately needed in their pack after they let him go in 2010.
But the club’s most revered one-club player warns Manly must move on from the disappointment of having their long-term halves split.
“If you start looking in the rear-view mirror thinking `oh we shouldn’t have let that bloke go, we should have kept this guy’, that’s not going to help anything,” Menzies said.