Foran, RTS Near Return For Warriors

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Foran, RTS Near Return For Warriors

Warriors stars Kieran Foran and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are nearing full fitness just over a month out from the start of the NRL season.

Foran, 26, signed a one-year deal with the club in September but is yet to receive the green light to play from the governing body after a trouble-plagued 2016.

The Kiwi Test five-eighth was released from his lucrative Parramatta deal in July as he addressed mental issues and his season was cut short due to a shoulder injury.

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The Auckland-born playmaker was at pre-season training on Monday doing some sprints and drills with Warriors teammates but mostly trained solo.

"He goes in to see a specialist this afternoon so that's another step forward for him," coach Stephen Kearney said.

"I've seen a real improvement from him and what he can do with us over the past month or so and he's come back after Christmas in fantastic shape."

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The NRL want assurances on Foran's mental health and relationship with gambling identity Eddie Hayson before ratifying his Warriors contract.

Club chief executive and former NRL operating officer Jim Doyle initially expected to receive the all clear by Christmas but has since revised his expectations to January.

It's been reported Foran will not be eligible for the side's first-round match against Newcastle in March.

Kearney told reporters that irrespective of any administrative hurdles, Foran was looking in good nick physically and almost past his shoulder problems.

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The Warriors will kick off their 2017 campaign at the Auckland Nines in a fortnight and Kearney revealed star No.1 Tuivasa-Sheck was likely to make his return from an ACL injury at the pre-season tournament.

"That's what everyone expects of Roger, he epitomises professionalism and if there's a box to tick, he's ticking it plus more," Kearney said.

Trials against Melbourne and Gold Coast will follow in mid-February, before the season kicks off in earnest on March 5 at Mt Smart Stadium.

Young gun Ata Hingano will assume the No.6 jumper if Foran's clearance doesn't come through, while livewire Tuimoala Lolohea will play 2017 on the wing.

Lolohea was linked with a move to St George Illawarra because Foran's impending move to the Warriors was seen as a roadblock to his desire to be a first-choice playmaker.

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