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Warriors bolster ranks

Published: 6:46PM Sunday August 24, 2008 Source: ONE Sport

Melbourne's promising New Zealand-born halfback Liam Foran has signed with the Vodafone Warriors.

The 20-year-old, who has made three NRL appearances for Storm this year, links up with the club on a one-year contract for 2009 with an option for 2010.

Auckland-born Foran, whose younger brother Kieran (18) is in Manly's National Youth Competition side, has been a regular in the Storm's NYC line-up this season.

An age group New South Wales representative on several occasions, he was in the Australian Schoolboys team for its 2006 tour of England and France but last October he was at standoff for the Junior Kiwis when they beat the Junior Kangaroos in a one-off international in Wellington.

While signing Cooper Cronk's Melbourne understudy Foran, the Vodafone Warriors also announced Auckland Vulcans halfback Aaron Heremaia will join the NRL squad on an off-season contract with a view to extending the arrangement if he impresses during the trial term.

Vodafone Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said the club was determined to build depth in its options in the halves.

"We looked at experienced players that might be available but there are few around and certainly no one who suited our needs," he said.

"In Liam we have a promising half, and a New Zealander as well, who will come back home to build up our options and compete for an NRL spot.

"We also have Isaac John from our successful Vodafone Junior Warriors side. Like Liam, he'll be ineligible for the NYC next year and he'll also be pushing for an NRL job.

"And Aaron, who has impressed for the Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup, is yet another local who will have the chance to come through."

Heremaia, who has previously played for North Sydney in the NSW premier league and also had a stint in England, can play either standoff or halfback (like Foran).

Both Foran and Heremaia are also capable goal-kickers.

In the first three NRL matches of his career this year, Foran was used off the bench as a dummy half option when Australian captain Cameron Smith was on State of Origin duty.

Among his team-mates in the 2006 Australian Schoolboys were Sydney Roosters half Mitchell Pearce and South Sydney rookie Chris Sandow.