AAP Rugby

Pay won’t stand in way of NRL rep duty

By AAP Newswire

Canterbury coach Dean Pay admits Kieran Foran's injury is a tough pill to swallow for the NRL club, but says he won't hesitate to make players available for representative duty in the future.

The New Zealand star is well into recovery from two shoulder surgeries in the off-season which will rule him out for at least the first half of the year.

On an estimated $1.2 million this season with the Bulldogs, Foran was injured while playing late last year for the Kiwis, and the club will receive just $350,000 salary-cap dispensation from the NRL.

It has created a debacle at the Bulldogs who will be without their injury-prone star playmaker once again.

"It's a pretty extensive injury so it's just a day-to-day thing with him. He's in good spirits, he's jumping into his rehab, so he's been terrific," Pay told AAP.

"The hardest thing to cop is that he didn't do it with us - he done it playing for New Zealand. You never want to stop them from playing rep footy ... I suppose that's a bitter pill to swallow at the moment.

"He's going as well as we can expect and, when he gets back, he'll be ready to go, so it's just a time thing."

Asked if he would consider making players unavailable for representative duties if they had historic injury problems, Pay said: "No, the majority of rep players have had injuries in the past. It's just one of those things.

"You can't avoid it. It's just a part of the game.

"He plays the game really tough and that's the only way he knows how to play. You don't want to take that away from him. That's his strength.

"Injuries are a part of the game so we just need to deal with it and keep moving forward."

Bulldogs Chris Smith and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will play this weekend for the Indigenous and Maori All Stars.

Forward Adam Elliott was forced to withdraw from the Indigenous squad with a minor ankle injury, but should be available for Canterbury's second trial.