Legendary Bronco and board member Darren Lockyer says there’s no guarantee young gun Herbie Farnworth will get his wish of becoming the club’s fullback after signing a new deal to remain in Brisbane.
The Broncos, who find themselves back in the top eight and firming for finals football after missing out the previous two seasons, received an added boost this week when it was revealed Farnworth had recommitted to the club for a further season.
It has been widely reported that the 22-year-old was being chased by at least five other NRL clubs, including the Dolphins, who will enter the competition next season.
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Lockyer said Farnworth’s new deal is a sign the club’s winning ways are rubbing off on the players.
“There’s no doubt winning makes it a lot happier and more enjoyable to play your footy,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“Herbie at the start of the year, we were keen to retain him.
“We knew the Dolphins were chasing him, as were other clubs.
“I think we were keen to secure him in the pre-season – he wanted to wait and I think that was really to see if he thinks the club is heading in the right direction.
“I think in the last five weeks maybe, there’s been a lot of players and a lot of fans, start to feel it is going in the right direction, and that’s probably had a massive influence on his decision.”
Farnworth, who’s played 51 games for the Broncos, has cemented himself as one of the club’s most damaging outside backs.
Through 10 games in 2022, he has seven tries to his name.
What Farnworth’s role with the Broncos looks like next season remains a mystery with the speedster making it known he wants to become a fullback.
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Farnworth’s bid to become the Broncos’ No.1 means he would need to outshine current fullback Te Maire Martin, as well as emerging star Selwyn Cobbo, who has also been linked with a move to fullback.
“We’ve got to give Te Maire a rap too. He’s added another dimension to the team since he’s come into the Broncos [No.1] jersey,” Lockyer said of Farnworth’s bid to play fullback.
“There’s an ambition there from Herbie to want to play fullback and I think the club is willing to give him an opportunity, maybe in the off-season to train there and try and develop himself.
“He’s signed a one-year deal. There are no guarantees Herbie’s going to be the No.1 next year.
“He’s a quality player that he’s at least going to be playing left center for the Broncos between now and when he comes up for his next contract negotiations.”
Speaking alongside Lockyer, former legendary Bronco Wally said Farnworth “certainly can” step up to the No.1 role, but said Martin deserved credit for the Broncos’ resurgence this year.
“I’m glad Locky mentioned Te Maire Martin, I’m a huge fan of this bloke,” Lewis said.
“There’s no BS about him, he gets in there and injects himself into the game quite well…his ability to be able to provide a boost for the Broncos in his performances has seen them with some great success on the field.”
Lockyer said Martin, who only returned to the NRL this season after a brief retirement brought on by a serious head injury, reminds him of Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater due to their ability to play as playmakers.
Both Martin and Drinkwater have previously played in the halves in their careers before transitioning to the fullback role.
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“He’s very similar to Scott Drinkwater at the Cowboys – a playmaker playing in the No.1 jersey, just allows them to position their outside men, particularly the centers and wingers with a bit of space,” Lockyer added.
“It’s added another dimension to the Broncos.
“That’s something Selwyn and Herbie would have to develop into their game.”
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