Re-signing Foran a must for Titans jigsaw: Sattler

Joel Gould |

Gold Coast captain Kieran Foran (centre) is in top form and keen to play on in 2025.
Gold Coast captain Kieran Foran (centre) is in top form and keen to play on in 2025.

Gold Coast have been urged to re-sign playmaker Kieran Foran for a 17th NRL season as the veteran also gave his stamp of approval for off-contract Warriors half Shaun Johnson to play on.

Foran, also off-contract, and his former New Zealand Test and Warriors teammate Johnson will face off in the Anzac Day clash in Auckland, with both playing their best football and wanted by their respective clubs for an extra season at least.  

Top-shelf playmakers are rare in the NRL, which is why 2011 title winner Foran, 33, is backing Johnson to play a 15th season.

“He’s playing great footy. He’s been a central figure for the Warriors the past couple of seasons and seems to be getting better with age,” Foran said.

“Shaun is playing with wonderful temperament at the moment and doing all that he can.

“I’m sure he’s got a few seasons left in him if he wants to, but it’s great to see him playing good footy.”

Shaun Johnson (left) and Kieran Foran (right)
Former New Zealand teammates Shaun Johnson (left) and Kieran Foran (right) clash on Anzac Day. (Ross Setford/AAP PHOTOS)

Foran is in discussions with the Titans to extend his contract until the end of at least 2025.

“I’ll keep playing for as long as I can. I will stay on (beyond 2024) if the club feels it’s needed and if it is what’s right for the club. I won’t pull up stumps,” he told AAP.

The Titans are winless this year, but that is no fault of Foran’s. He was involved in four tries in last week’s 34-30 loss to his former club Manly.

Foundation Titans football manager  Scott Sattler said Foran was worth the investment.

“It all comes down to their salary cap and if they can negotiate a deal, but there is a lot more that goes on with a player like Kieran outside of the 80 minutes,” Sattler told AAP.

“We see that with a player like the retired Dale Finucane at the Sharks, where we hear about the impact he has had on the club pushing training and values.

“That is the same with Kieran with what he provides inside and outside the 80 minutes, and I think he is worthy of another deal.

“(Coach) Des Hasler is just at the start of his journey. It is going to be a long process and Kieran plays a massive role as an extension of the coach on the field. Des needs him to complete the jigsaw.”

Sattler said whenever Foran took more control, the better the side went. He is named at half against the Warriors, even though he may play a dual role.

“I think the No.7 jersey on his back is where Kieran is even more suited,” Sattler said

“He can get them to points around the field they need to  be and be selective about when he needs to pull the trigger, and be the player who tries to execute a play that creates line breaks or points.

“When you are at No.6 I think you have a mentality that you have to create all the time. 

“Even though he plays like a No.6 at times I think Kieran’s situation is like (halfback) Aidan Seizer at the Wests Tigers, where it is about what you can provide the team as a ‘conductor’, and pick and choose your moments.”

AAP