Newly approved Warriors five-eighth Kieran Foran has expressed his willingness to remain at the Auckland-based club long-term.
Foran, 26, had his one-year deal at the NRL club registered on Wednesday after successfully demonstrating his mental health and fitness to play.
He was also forced by the governing body to sever his connection to colourful Sydney gambling identity Eddie Hayson.
With the four-month contract saga resolved, Foran is now free to complete an all-Kiwi Warriors spine alongside Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke.
However, he will have to wait until the side’s round-three match against the Bulldogs in Dunedin before returning to the football field.
He will also have to pass one final psychological evaluation after an Auckland psychiatrist confirmed to the NRL that Foran could return to the game.
Warriors chief Jim Doyle said on Wednesday that, with his immediate future settled, Foran was keen to stay in Auckland.
But the club would wait until Foran had successfully bedded into the Warriors set-up before discussing an extension.
“Kieran doesn’t see himself as a player who hops from club to club, you’ve seen that at Manly,” Doyle said.
“We’ve had a few discussions around that already but we’ve said, let’s take it one step at a time, get the registration, get on the field.”
Doyle also said that any contract extension would be dependent on the still-unknown size of the salary cap from 2018.
The current $7m cap is predicted to rise in line with a new broadcast deal, but a collective bargaining agreement has not yet been nailed down.
“You can only spend X amount of dollars or link things to percentages, so it does make it a little bit muddy,” Doyle said.
Irrespective of any extension, Doyle said he was glad to see Foran get his life back together in Auckland after a difficult 12 months.
He had surrounded himself with good people in Auckland, including godfather Don Mackinnon and was almost fully recovered from a serious shoulder injury.
“This process is not just about ticking boxes for the NRL,” Doyle said.
“He wants to be a good family man, he’s got two young kids and he’s doing this to better himself, to be the best person he can.”