Link maker

Manly Sea Eagles play down Kieran Foran exit talk as reports link playmaker to Gold Coast Titans

Manly manager Des Hasler has sought to play down speculation that five-eighth Kieran Foran could be in his final year with the club.

The return of Dally M’s defending medalist Tom Trbojevic for Saturday’s home game against the Wests Tigers has been overshadowed by reports linking Foran with a move to the Gold Coast Titans.

Retaining the 31-year-old, who is out of contract later this year, is currently a thorny issue for Manly.

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Rising star manager Josh Schuster, who was ruled out of Saturday’s game with a calf complaint, has reportedly reminded the Sea Eagles of a promise he would move into a playmaking role after starting his career in the LNR in the backrow.

Any new deal for Foran would no doubt give Hasler an unwanted headache.

Hasler was asked about Foran’s future ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Tigers and said he would not enter into a public debate over the New Zealand international’s future.

“This is not the forum for this discussion,” Hasler said bluntly.

Foran has rediscovered his best football since returning to the Sea Eagles in 2021.

Under Hasler, last season was the first since leaving Manly in 2015 that Foran saw the year without any injury problems as the Sea Eagles reached a preliminary final.

Sea Eagles’ Josh Schuster beats a tackle from Dragons’ Ben Hunt during the NRL Round 18 game between Manly Sea Eagles and St George Illawarra Dragons. Credit: chris hyde/Getty Images

After injury-hit spells with Parramatta, the Warriors and Canterbury, Hasler said Foran and Manly’s High Performance Unit (HPU) deserved credit for how the veteran playmaker was able to save every week .

“It’s a huge conclusion for our HPU,” he said.

“The way we manage players goes a lot in that direction.

“But it’s also, I think, being settled and being able to focus on your job is good too.”

Manly will be aiming to snap a two-game losing streak when they host the Tigers at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.

Cody Walker is under investigation after a late night incident.

Cody Walker is under investigation after a late night incident.

The Sea Eagles have prop Josh Aloiai and backrower Haumole Olakau’atu available for selection, but it’s the return of Trbojevic that will no doubt act as the catalyst for a results turnaround.

Trbojevic will line up alongside his brothers Jake (lock) and young center Ben for the first time on the Manly pitch, and Hasler expects him to step up.

“He has such a physical presence and he is so professional in his preparation,” he said.

“You would much rather have him on the pitch than working in rehab.

“His transition will be pretty good. Tom does a lot of hard work behind the scenes.