Bulldogs trying to force former Kiwis star Kieran Foran to retire on medical grounds - report

Former Warriors and Kiwis playmaker Kieran Foran's career could be over, with a report surfacing that his current NRL club are attempting to retire the halfback on medical grounds.

NINE reports the Bulldogs are hoping to retire Foran, who is currently sidelined for at least a month with a toe injury as well carrying a neck-shoulder issue, on medical grounds to free up salary cap space.

Foran was signed by former coach Des Hasler last year for a three-year, approximately $1 million a season contract while he was still at the Warriors, where injuries also plagued his season with the Kiwi club.

NINE reports Foran has also been hampered by off-field problems - one of the driving reasons Foran left the Warriors to sign with the Sydney club was to be closer to his children.

Should the NRL agree to allow Foran to be retired by the club, he would still get the money he is contractually-obliged to but his $1 million wage would not be including in the Bulldogs' 2019 salary cap, giving them plenty of breathing space to recruit a replacement and other NRL stars. 

In 12 appearances this season, Foran has assisted one try, scored one of his own, converted four goals and currently averages 61.7 running metres a game.

Kieran Foran.
Kieran Foran. Source: NRL


Adam Blair will embrace 'senior leader' role in captainless Kiwis, says coach Michael Maguire

Adam Blair will embrace his "senior leader" role with New Zealand and heed the lessons of last year's Rugby League World Cup catastrophe when they face England next week.

In one of the more confusing appointments in recent Kiwis history, new coach Michael Maguire confirmed his team will have no captain for the June 23 Test in Denver, Colorado.

He wants leadership to grow organically out of what will be a young playing group, with Blair acting as an unofficial skipper.

Maguire's left-field announcement on Tuesday came about an hour after Blair fronted a Warriors club media session.

Reporters were unaware of the veteran forward's pending status and neither, seemingly, was Blair, who claimed he had only liaised briefly with Maguire since the coach took charge last month.

"I've spoken to him briefly about where I stand. It was more about, 'was I up for selection?' and stuff like that."

"(Captaincy) was a tough thing. I enjoyed it. It was a massive learning curve," he said.

"It's something I've learned from the experience and be better for it."

Blair looks set to lead a green international group onto Mile High Stadium.

Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino and Russell Packer have confirmed their international retirements while Jesse Bromwich, Jordan Rapana, Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are senior players to have suffered untimely injuries.

The rushed and messy nature of New Zealand's preparations were underlined by Blair's surprise when informed Matulino and Packer had hung up their representative boots.

"I thought those guys had a fair time left in the Kiwis jersey to be honest so it's come as a surprise and a shock to me," he said.

"They've been playing some good footy. I'm a bit speechless there."

Blair believed Maguire still had ample Kiwi talent to pick from in the NRL which would allow the coach to stamp his mark.

"He can instil what he wants in the group of boys and play his part in growing a group of men.

"There's some great kids out there for sure who will be the future of the New Zealand team. The Test match coming up will be a chance to bleed them into the system."

Adam Blair tried his best to keep his composure during a post-match interview after his side’s 4-2 loss in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS



New Kiwis coach trying unorthodox approach to team culture for US Test – 'We're not going to have a captain'

New Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has announced the first big change he's making to the New Zealand side to change team culture ahead of this month's Denver Test against England - there won't be a captain.

Maguire will name his squad for the US Test on Sunday but there will be one big change the team has never seen before.

"We won't have any 'C' next to any name," he said.

"I'm gonna have a little bit of a different direction for this one, we're not going to have a captain... I think it's allowing everyone in the team to take ownership and accountability for where we're going."

Maguire told 1 NEWS he spoke to former captain Adam Blair about the decision - a call he's made in teams he's previously coached.

"Blair will represent us when we run out but I've had a really good discussion with him and we want to see leadership right throughout the team."

The Kiwis play England at Mile High Stadium in Denver on Sunday 24 June at 10am (NZT).

Michael Maguire wants everyone to take ownership for the team’s results. Source: 1 NEWS