New Parramatta captain Kieran Foran has labelled five-eighth Corey Norman as good as any player he’s played alongside, even superstar Daly Cherry-Evans.
Foran will link with NRL Auckland Nines hero Norman for the first time when the pair line-up for the club’s final pre-season trial against Penrith on Saturday.
High-profile buys Michael Jennings, Beau Scott and Clinton Gutherson are expected to join Foran in what will be their first outings for the club.
But all eyes will be on former Manly star Foran, whose says his new halves partner is not unlike his old one.
“They’re pretty similar, to be honest,” Foran said.
“Corey’s a phenomenal talent. He’s as good a player as I’ve played alongside. His skillset and the way he moves is so exciting. He’s just a natural footballer. He’s just able to provide that skill that we need.
“We’ve been combining well at training. We’ve worked on how we want to get the team around the field, where we want to be positioned at certain times, and we’re really excited about linking up together this weekend for the first time.”
While the 25-year-old Foran will shift closer to the ruck at halfback, he revealed his role wouldn’t be dissimilar to his position at the Sea Eagles, where he played primarily on the left edge.
The only major change is a focus on steering the team around the park as Norman hones on his trademark running game.
“I’ve been doing that at Manly anyway,” he said.
“Me and Cherry, our roles were basically left and right. That’s how a lot of teams play these days. Me and Corey, it won’t be too much different to what I’ve been doing over the last five/six years at Manly.
“(I will have) a bit more added responsibility in guiding the boys around the paddock, but I’m not looking to change my role too much.”
Foran missed the Kiwis’ tour of England last November, finally allowing him to rest a troublesome hamstring that plagued his 2015 season at Brookvale.
“It’s been nice to have a full pre-season under my belt. I haven’t had one in a few years because I’ve had the representative stuff with the Kiwis,” he said.
“Unfortunately I missed that, but it was a positive because I was able to get a 12 week pre-season under my belt at a new club and the body’s feeling really good”