Herbie Farnworth has World Cup chance, says England boss Shaun Wane

Herbie Farnworth has been told he will be pushing for a place in England’s World Cup team if he carries his 2020 form into the new NRL season.

The winger or centre enjoyed a breakthrough season in Australia in 2020 despite his club Brisbane Broncos finishing with the wooden spoon and he was rewarded with a place in England head coach Shaun Wane’s elite squad.

Wane contacted Farnworth, who hails from the tiny Lancashire village of Blacko, during the three months he spent back home over Christmas to outline his World Cup plans.

Wane said: “I spoke to him but I didn’t think it was appropriate to meet him so we just kept in touch by phone.

“He was a standout in a poor team last year and, if he kicks on and carries on like he did last year, he’ll be pushing for a spot.”

Farnworth, who turned 21 just before Christmas, trained at Burnley College with his uncle Brian Foley, the former Wigan head of youth who has been his mentor since his Manchester United apprentice days, to maintain his fitness during the break.

He is now back in Brisbane and, after a 14-day quarantine, is happy to swap the wintry snow for the sweltering Queensland summer.

“It was great to see my family,” Farnworth told the club’s website. “I was in close contact with the coaching staff back here and I trained with my Uncle Brian – we were in the snow and these boys were in the heat.

“Burnley College had a good little pitch and gym that I could use so I was able to get out. We did a lot of running and a lot of weights and a lot of work on skills.

“It was really cold over there so it burned your throat a little bit but it’s tougher training out here in the heat. Now that I’m back and through the isolation period, it’s great to be back training with the team.”

Farnworth made his NRL debut in 2019 and recently signed a new contract keeping him with the Broncos at least until the end of 2022.

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