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Eagle-eyed Foran uncovers traces of DCE in Tanah's DNA

Tanah Boyd was just eight years old when Kieran Foran debuted in 2009, while the man they call ‘Foz’ was 29 and 197 games into his career when his new halves partner broke into first grade a decade later.

Now 32 and one of the NRL’s most respected elder statesmen, Foran joins the Titans this year with a clear mission to mentor the club’s young playmakers and impart the knowledge he has acquired across a decorated career.

With 262 NRL games, a premiership at Manly in 2011, two World Cups and 28 Test matches on his CV, Foran brings a wealth of big game experience to the table and 22-year-old Boyd has shown himself to be a keen student during the pre-season.

Foran has only been on deck since January after finishing his World Cup commitments with New Zealand but in a short space of a time he has formed a strong bond with Boyd on and off the paddock.

“Since day one Tanah walked in here, he’s been beaming, he’s been confident, he has wanted to make that No.7 jersey his own and pick up from where he finished last year,” Foran said. “He has really grabbed it and he’s in for a huge year.

“We are spending plenty of time to build that combination and that fluency out on the field. It’s important we understand each other’s game.

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“Tanah will be our dominant kicker, he’s a natural striker of the ball. We’ll be looking to complement each other’s games, that’s what good halves do.”

After debuting off the bench in a demoralising 38-4 loss to Newcastle late in 2019, Boyd chalked up 19 games across the next two seasons before finding his groove in 2022, particularly in the last five rounds at halfback.

At the tail end of a torrid season the Titans dug deep to win three of those five matches, including a 27-26 thriller in round 25 against the Warriors sealed with Boyd's field goal from 33 metres out in golden point.

It was the sort of composed play Foran has seen countless times over the years from good mate Daly Cherry-Evans at Manly, the pair launching their careers together more than a decade ago and reuniting in 2021 when the five-eighth returned from stints with the Bulldogs, Warriors and Eels.

In the ultimate compliment for his new No.7, Foran says Boyd’s game management style is “very similar” to that of the 2013 Clive Churchill Medal winner.

“Tanah can control the tempo and that’s what I was used to at Manly with 'Chez' and that allows me to play my game," Foran said.

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“When you’re talking experience levels they are worlds apart. Chez has played nearly 300 games and Tanah is a young guy starting out but in terms of their game management style it’s actually very similar.

“Tanah’s a guy that likes to take control, he can kick really well and he can control the tempo of a game. That’s what I’ve been used to at Manly with Daly and it allowed me to concentrate on what I do best.

“I’m really eager and keen to help a lot of young halves at the club and pass on my learnings to help them forge their careers.

“I learnt some tough lessons along the way and where I stumbled at other clubs but I learnt going back to Manly what my best footy looks like and I’ll look to bring the same structures here.”

Titans fans will get their first look at the Foran-Boyd combination when they tackle new boys the Dolphins in Redcliffe on Sunday.

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Apart from the six and seven, much attention will focus on wrecking ball David Fifita, who carries huge expectations into every game he plays.

After representing Tonga at the World Cup, Fifita took a well-earned break before launching his 2023 campaign in Sunday's 24-24 draw against Brisbane, racking up 121 metres from 11 runs.

"What we saw from Dave on the weekend is what people need to get used to seeing," Foran said.

"The problem for Dave is that when you’re the star of the team people expect to see you scoring three tries a game and setting up three but that’s not his role. \

"He just needs to work hard and do the little things right and get into the grind of the game and that’s what he did.

"He’s a targeted guy and that’s what happens, he’s used to that, and we’re going to find ways to help him play at his best every week."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.