Herbie Farnworth back in England contention says Shaun Wane

Herbie Farnworth Brisbane Broncos PA
Herbie Farnworth in action for Brisbane

Brisbane Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth is back in England contention says head coach Shaun Wane.

Farnworth, 22, was dropped from Wane’s elite squad 12 months ago after failing to meet his standards off the pitch.

However, the centre has impressed the former Wigan head coach so far this season. Lancashire-born Farnworth has scored four tries in six appearance for Brisbane in the 2022 campaign.

Herbie Farnworth impressing England boss Wane

“He’s gone on the meetings I’ve had with the NRL players on time,” Wane said. “People might think that’s nothing but to me it’s everything.

“I watch him play every week and he’s doing well with Brisbane. He’s a talent and a good athlete and he’s playing really well. I can definitely see him playing in the World Cup.”

Wane’s contact with his NRL-based England players has been via zoom over the last two years. However, he will have the opportunity to speak face to face with them when he flies over for the Magic Weekend in Brisbane from May 13-15.

“I’m hoping to catch up with all of them while I’m over there,” he said.

“That’s the whole point, to spend time with them and make sure they see what the Super League-based players are seeing. It’s important to me that they don’t miss out.”

James Roby U-turn?

One NRL-based player already ruled out of the World Cup is Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson, which reduces Wane’s options for the number nine jersey. But he says he will not make an effort to persuade James Roby to change his mind about retirement.

Roby, who recently played his 500th game for St Helens and has started his final season in impressive form, announced his retirement from the international game at the end of the 2021 season.

Wane can still call on Daryl Clark, Michael McIlorum and Paul McShane but hints Roby could yet play if he performs a U-turn.

“James Roby’s form is fantastic,” Wane said. “He’s made his decision and I probably wouldn’t like to interfere with that unless he approached me.”

Another player ruled out is uncapped St Helens scrum-half Lewis Dodd, who would have been a World Cup contender, according to Wane.

“He would have figured in the World Cup,” he said. “He’s a very talented player and it’s sad what happened to him.

“But it just makes (England Knights coach) Paul Anderson’s job more important, to make sure we have Plan B and other players coming through.”

READ MORE: England set to poach Dom Young from Jamaica

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