Foran told the Herald he was well aware his future would be topical and naturally he’d struggle to again collect $1.2 million a year – his reported pay packet for 2020 at Canterbury – if stranded in the casualty ward.
“If I’m injured and on the sidelines and not playing well, then I’m not worth the money I’m on,” Foran said.
“Everyone knows that. But if I’m healthy and playing consistently, that’s all that matters to me.
“For me it’s not about the money. What I measure myself on is playing the best football I can.
“My only focus is on staying fit and healthy on the paddock for Bulldogs.
“It would be great to stay where I am. But I’m also a realist, I understand clubs are run like a business, I can’t control what decisions the club will make, but what I can control is playing good footy for the Bulldogs and staying on the paddock.
“They’ve got some decisions to make on who they want to keep and who they want to go out and buy. I won’t buy into it. What will consume my mind is playing good footy.”
Foran had almost given up on an international return, having not played a Test in two years.
Halves partner Benji Marshall was an inspiration, Foran said, given the way he had overcome his own injuries and produced some of his best football at 34.
Foran has never once questioned his ability to return to his best and often gets frustrated when fans still refer to his glory days at Manly, a club he last played at four years ago.
As for the Kiwis’ return, Foran said: “I was getting a massage early Monday and ‘[coach Michael Maguire] came up, shook my hand and told me he was going to play me this week.
“It hit me straight away. It’s one thing to be back training and around the boys but another thing to run out in a Test match.
“For me I need to bring on Saturday the things I do well, that’s my focus. My game is built on going to the line hard and trying to create space for the blokes around me. That will be the first thing I’ll be trying to do.”
Marshall said of being reunited with Foran: “What I like about Kieran is he’s so determined on every play, he does all the little things, kick chase, he’s a strong defender, and we complement the way each other play.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.