NRL Market Watch: Gold Coast Titans shows interest in teaming up Kieran Foran with Toby Sexton
MARKET WATCH: A salary cap squeeze is set to ring in a new era at Manly with veteran Kieran Foran likely vacating his five-eighth role - but he won’t be without a club for long.
The Gold Coast Titans are set to make a shock play for veteran Manly playmaker Kieran Foran in a bid to bolster their struggling spine.
News Corp can reveal the Titans have emerged as the front-runners for Foran’s signature as three NRL rivals circle the former New Zealand Test star.
It is understood the Titans want Foran on their books from next year and are ready to table an offer to bring some playmaking experience to Parkwood following the off-season departure of halfback Jamal Fogarty to Canberra.
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Should Foran opt for the Titans, he would be tasked with mentoring young halfback Toby Sexton, who has struggled under the pressure of being an NRL No. 7 this year.
Foran will turn 32 in July and the Titans contract would likely be his last before he retires from the NRL.
A premiership-winning playmaker, Foran has resurrected his career at Manly over the past two seasons under coach Des Hasler, but a salary cap squeeze at Brookvale is set to force him out of the club.
The Sea Eagles have huge money invested in Daly Cherry-Evans, the Trbojevic brothers Tom and Jake, while emerging star Josh Schuster wants to play five-eighth.
And the embattled Titans are ready to pounce on Foran, who at his peak was one of the most dominant playmakers in the code.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook released seasoned playmaker and former co-captain Fogarty to Canberra this season, a decision which has backfired amid Gold Coast’s slide out of the top eight.
Sexton, 21, has struggled to improve on his rookie season without an experienced halves partner, with Holbrook now playing veteran utility Will Smith at five-eighth and shifting AJ Brimson to fullback.
After making last year’s finals, the Titans have only registered two wins in the opening eight rounds heading into Saturday night’s showdown with the Roosters in Mackay.
But help is on its way, albeit not until 2023.
Foran is a 246-game NRL veteran who has also made 22 Test appearances for the Kiwis.
He played in Manly’s 2011 premiership triumph and also featured in the Sea Eagles’ 2013 grand-final loss to the Roosters.
Foran’s career went off the rails when he left Manly in 2016 for a one-season cameo at Parramatta and he had little success at the Warriors (2017) and Bulldogs (2018-20).
But a return to Manly last year with Hasler saw Foran play 25 games as the Sea Eagles finished in the top four and made the preliminary final.
However, it now looks like he is headed for the exit at Manly once again, with the Titans ready to extract whatever they can out of Foran before he hangs up the boots.
Originally published as NRL Market Watch: Gold Coast Titans shows interest in teaming up Kieran Foran with Toby Sexton