Brits Down Under: Farnworth at the double & Hodgson’s Eels debut

Drew Darbyshire
Herbie Farnworth England News Images

Photo: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

The 2023 NRL campaign got underway at the weekend, with Brisbane’s Herbie Farnworth being the standout English star in the opening round.

With the NRL returning, it also means our weekly Brits Down Under feature is back, too. Here is a brief recap on the performances of the NRL’s British contingent…

Dom Young

The Wakefield-born flier started on the wing for Newcastle Knights in their 20-12 defeat at New Zealand Warriors.

Young, who enjoyed a tremendous World Cup campaign with England last year, made 80 metres in their opening round defeat.

Ryan Sutton

The former Wigan forward had a solid first hit out for his new club Canterbury Bulldogs, but they were on the wrong side of a 31-6 result against Canterbury Bulldogs.

Sutton played 57 minutes of the game, making 48 tackles and racking up 93 metres.

Tom Burgess

The England international played a key role in helping the Rabbitohs win 27-18 away at Cronulla.

Burgess played 45 minutes, making 22 tackles and 173 metres with the ball in hand. He also made five tackle breaks.

Jackson Hastings

Hastings was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for England through his grandmother, who is from Plymouth. He represented his English heritage for Great Britain in 2019.

The half-back made his Newcastle debut as the Knights fell short against the Warriors. He played the full game, made 132 metres and 19 tackles. He also kicked two goals.

Josh Hodgson

The Hull-born hooker made his debut for Parramatta as they just fell short to a 16-12 defeat to Melbourne at home.

Hodgson put in a big stint as he came up with 42 tackles. He also got an assist to his name on debut.

Herbie Farnworth

Lancashire-born Farnworth was the standout Englishman in the NRL at the weekend as he scored two tries to help Brisbane Broncos beat reigning champions Penrith Panthers 13-12.

The England centre made a line break and four tackle breaks as well as racking up 154 running metres.

Elliott Whitehead

The 33-year-old has entered his eighth season with the Raiders. He played the full 80 in their agonising 19-18 defeat North Queensland Cowboys in round one.

Whitehead, formerly of Bradford and Catalans, made 33 tackles and 79 metres.

Victor Radley

The England international was forced to leave the field with a head knock in the Roosters’ 28-18 defeat to the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium.

Radley only played 29 minutes before leaving the field but made an impressive 22 tackles in that period.

Radley was born and raised in Sydney but is of English heritage through his father Nigel, who hails from Sheffield. He made his international debut for England at last year’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Oliver Gildart (Dolphins), Luke Thompson (Bulldogs – injured), Bailey Hodgson (Knights) and John Bateman (Tigers) didn’t feature in the opening round.

NRL Round One results:

Parramatta Eels 12-16 Melbourne Storm

New Zealand Warriors 20-12 Newcastle Knights

Penrith Panthers 12-13 Brisbane Broncos

Manly Sea Eagles 31-6 Canterbury Bulldogs

North Queensland Cowboys 19-18 Canberra Raiders

Cronulla Sharks 18-27 South Sydney Rabbitohs

Dolphins 28-18 Sydney Roosters

Wests Tigers 10-22 Gold Coast Titans

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