BILLY Slater has endorsed Kieran Foran as Cooper Cronk’s potential replacement at Melbourne.
Foran is off contract at the end of the year and wants to move back to Australia to be closer to his children in Sydney.
The former New Zealand five-eighth has largely been tipped to head to Canterbury, but also linked to the Storm following the announcement of Cronk’s departure.
And Slater said he believed he would fit right into the Storm’s attacking structure.
“Of the guys that are off contract … Probably a Kieran Foran,” Slater responded when asked on Nine’s Footy Show about who should replace Cronk.
“I think he would suit the style of play down in Melbourne.
“Just the directness that he plays with would certainly suit our style of football as well.”
The Storm have a strong Kiwi culture that could appeal to Foran, with New Zealand captain Jesse Bromwich one of the senior players at the club. Foran is also close with former Manly teammate Brett Stewart, who is running a business in Melbourne, while the mother of his children also reportedly has relatives in the Victorian capital.
Melbourne face the prospect of being cashed up for the first time in almost a decade with the departure of Cronk at the end of the season and Slater considering retirement.
The Melbourne fullback had the best game since his return in Saturday’s 30-26 win over Manly, setting up three tries and making a key line break in the lead- up to another.
“It’s been on my mind,” Slater said of whether he would play on. “I’m not too sure, I wasn’t even thinking of anything past this year.
“But back playing now, I’m really enjoying my football and I just want to get a few more games under my belt and if the opportunity comes up to play next year, I will look at that.” Meanwhile NRL immortal Andrew Johns said he believed 33-year-old Cronk could play on for up to another three years.
“His game isn’t based around speed,” Johns said.
“It’s based around organisation and ball-playing and smarts.
“That’s what he got an abundance of.”
Originally published as Slater backs Foran to replace Cronk
SOURCE: newsnow sport