FO­RAN SHOCK KI­WIS CUP EXIT Star half to snub NZ to get ready for Bull­dogs

Sunday News - - SPORT - DAVID LONG

TTHE Ki­wis’ plans to win this year’s Rugby League World Cup are in tat­ters, with Kieran Fo­ran set to make him­self unavail­able.

The five-eighth, who has just com­pleted a dis­ap­point­ing and in­jury rav­aged sea­son, will call Ki­wis coach David Kid­well this week and tell him he’s not go­ing to play in the tour­na­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Sun­day Tele­graph.

Fo­ran wants to get him­self right for the Bull­dogs next sea­son and is pre­pared to put this ahead of rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand in Kevin Proc­tor al­ready ruled out of the Ki­wis’ World Cup team be­cause of dis­ci­plinary rea­sons, the Ki­wis will be des­per­ately un­der strength at the tour­na­ment.

Jor­dan Kahu is also un­likely to play for the Ki­wis at the World Cup as he needs to have an op­er­a­tion.

One of their strengths for the Ki­wis at the World Cup would have been Fo­ran and Shaun John­son in the halves, but that looks un­likely to hap­pen now and once again the Ki­wis team could have a makeshift look to it.

With the Ki­wis hav­ing moved on from Benji Mar­shall, de­spite hav­ing a good sea­son for the Bron­cos, it leaves Te Maire Martin and Kodi Niko­rima as the two likely op­tions to team up with John­son.

Tuimoala Lolo­hea, who played for the Ki­wis on the 2015 tour to Eng­land has al­ready pledged that he’ll play for Tonga at the World Cup.

Mean­while, Fo­ran con­firmed to the news­pa­per that the sack­ing of Des Hasler as Bull­dogs coach hasn’t changed his plans to move to the Bull­dogs next sea­son.

‘‘I’m fully com­mit­ted to the Bull­dogs,’’ Fo­ran said.

‘‘I’m close to Des and I feel for him as a friend. He’s a great footy coach and his record speaks for it­self.’’

‘‘I guess I saw it com­ing from all the spec­u­la­tion,’’ Fo­ran said of Hasler. ‘‘Some­times things don’t work out as planned, which is dis­ap­point­ing per­son­ally.

‘‘But the Bull­dogs have made their de­ci­sion and all I can do is play. We’ll get be­hind the new coach and hope­fully have a re­ally strong year.’’ GETTY IMAGES

‘ I’ve got to get my body right. I re­ally need a big off­sea­son.’ KIERAN FO­RAN

Kieran Fo­ran in ac­tion for the Ki­wis against the Kan­ga­roos in Can­berra in May.

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