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Kevin Norquay: Kieran Foran can be very, very, good, and he can be horrid

Kieran Foran's past troubles aren't easy to escape.

OPINION: Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned a 1800s nursery rhyme that, gender and timing aside, could have been written with troubled Warriors standoff Kieran Foran in mind.

​There Was a Little Girl has the oft-recited lines: "When she was good she was very, very good, when she was bad she was horrid".

There's no doubt the Warriors have signed a very, very good player in Foran, who has been through an awful year of mental-health issues, dalliances with gamblers, relationship break-ups, club changes and suicide attempts.

A former Manly and Kiwis star, Foran packed up his troubles in his old kit bag, quit Parramatta, and crossed the Tasman seeking mental solace at the Warriors, but for all his efforts to put distance on the past, there's still no smile, smile, smile.

* NRL advisor 'appalled'
* Foran's threats to dying woman
* Support for Foran won't stop
* Let Foran play from round one
* Johns: Warriors can win it all
* The Rebecca Wilson I knew

His troubles have tracked him to Auckland like a persistent cover defender.


Why? Because he can be horrid. This week it emerged he threatened rugby league journalist Rebecca Wilson so vigorously she was prompted to tell police.

That has led to the NRL being criticised for letting Foran take the field as early as the third round of the season.

He was cleared to play, provided he passed a psychological assessment and adhered to a set of strict conditions.

So that's good for Foran, good for the Warriors, good for the NRL.

For others it's horrid. Too soon, said NRL women's adviser Catharine Lumby who was "appalled" with the decision.

Lumby – a professor – was reported as being "close to tears" when she read about the abuse of Wilson, who died last year.

So while he's good at sorting an attack on the field, Foran seems unwilling or unable to apologise to those he wronged.

Had he wanted to put his past behind him in Auckland, he might have already taken that logical first step on the road to redemption.

There does not seem to have been one, though Foran has in the past demanded one for himself, from radio host Jackie O, who cruelly questioned on air whether he was the father of his second child.

And the Warriors have buried the issue under a three-man gang tackle, through tight-lipped Warriors managing director Jim Doyle on Friday.

"We were well aware that when Kieran's contract was registered some people would see it as a positive but some people would be negative," Doyle said.

"Kieran has discussed all aspects of his past with the NRL so no need for him or us to discuss these further."

Foran may well be gambling all will be forgotten when he runs out for the Warriors, when he's back in his natural environment.

He will be betting that most league followers won't care how he has behaved in the past as long as he can run, pass, tackle and kick.

And sad as that is, he could be right.

It is understood his threats to Wilson were known about by the NRL, and must have been considered prior to Foran being cleared to play, with a two-week stand down period.

Warriors forward Charlie Gubb got seven weeks – nearly four times as long – on the sidelines last year for a shoulder charge.

Is that the message the NRL wants to send women?

As Lumby said: "If the NRL wants to genuinely show leadership, which it has, in relation to the treatment of women and respect to people generally, than it needs to walk the walk, not just talk the talk."