Titans’ Foran an extension of Hasler’s brain: Sattler

Joel Gould |

Gold Coast No.6 Kieran Foran returns from injury against his old club Canterbury on Saturday.
Gold Coast No.6 Kieran Foran returns from injury against his old club Canterbury on Saturday.

He has been described as an on-field extension of coach Des Hasler’s brain, which is why Gold Coast five-eighth Kieran Foran’s return from a hamstring injury against Canterbury is such a massive inclusion.

The Titans’ creative and guiding force sat out the pre-season trials with calf tightness. The 33-year-old twinged a hamstring at training to miss the round-one 28-4 loss to St George Illawarra where the Titans played like chooks with their heads cut off.

AAP has been told Foran trained for the entire Titans session on Tuesday and will start against his former club at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday, where he was also coached by Hasler.

Hasler mentored Foran at Manly in the 2011 premiership win and the pair have forged a close and successful relationship ever since.

Former Titans general manager of football and 2003 premiership winner Scott Sattler said Foran’s return was crucial.

“The reason Kieran is so critical for the Titans is because he becomes an on-field extension of Des,” Sattler told AAP.

“An NRL coach is up in the box and can’t control anything that happens on the field, but here you have a player in Kieran who thinks and acts like Des and implements his coaching philosophies to get results.

“Kieran is the guy on the field who the players all respect and  reiterates everything on the field the Titans have been taught by Des in the pre-season … so they are going to listen.”

Foran wasn’t there in round one and the Titans suffered.

There are several things he does well. One is take the line on with vim and vigour. Another is his ability to play short to his second-rower or long with pinpoint passes to the outside backs. A further strength is his game management and strong voice on the field.

That is why Sattler said the Titans could be a completely different side to the one that played the Dragons.

“Kieran makes everyone around him better,” Sattler said.

“He will create opportunities for his back-rowers by the way he engages the line.

“(Halfback) Tanah Boyd will be better because Kieran will be saying to him, ‘mate, I need you to dig into the line more’.

“Tanah is going to listen to that and that is why Kieran is so important with his intelligence about the game.”