When Kieran Foran gets around to explaining why he has begun the season so promisingly, you expect him to detail the obvious: the lessons learnt from last year, another year with halfback Daly Cherry-Evans under his belt, the sessions with Andrew Johns.
But the Manly five-eighth is also using something a little more bizarre as a reason for his early-season prominence; the removal of his tonsils.
Foran, the Sea Eagles' Kiwi international, lost seven kilograms as a result of surgery to remove his tonsils before the season. By the time he played Brisbane in round one, he had put back on three of them. But his form over the first two rounds, at 86kg, has left him keen to play at a weight lighter than he has done previously.
''I wasn't eating too much, and the weight just stripped off me,'' Foran said. ''When I got back into training, I started to put it back on, but I only got back to about 86kg. I couldn't really put any more on in the short period before the Broncos game. I was really pushing it for that Brisbane game. But I just told myself that I'd play that game underweight.''
He felt better, though. ''I wasn't getting thrown around, which I was worried about,'' Foran said. ''I'm probably going to keep going at this weight. It's only a problem if it affects you in terms of getting thrown around and not being able to make tackles. Whether I'm faster or not, I'm not sure, but mentally, I feel faster. If that's the case, it's a good thing.''
Foran had his tonsils removed after coming down with tonsillitis on the day of the All Stars clash in February. His recovery was slower than expected, meaning he was unable to return to full training until the week leading into round one.
''They don't normally take them out once you're past your teens, but I used to get [tonsillitis] three or four times a year,'' he said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/foran-reveals-form-secret-its-all-down-to-losing-his-tonsils-20130318-2gb9d.html#ixzz2NvPp84CC