Herbie Farnworth at Dolphins pre-season training.
Herbie Farnworth has been going through his paces on his first day of pre-season with the Dolphins. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Herbie gets Wayne reunion as life begins at Dolphins

Murray Wenzel December 11, 2023

Herbie Farnworth remembers the reassuring chat he had with Wayne Bennett as a 15-year-old.

Almost nine years later, the Dolphins recruit will finally get to play under the veteran coach, the pair both joining pre-season training in Redcliffe on Monday.

English backline talent Farnworth was a statement signing in February, pinched from neighbours Brisbane on a three-year deal at the new franchise.

He played 79 games for the Broncos, scoring 15 tries last season as they reached the grand final for the first time in eight years.

Those bonds remain tight, the 23-year-old laughing off his pre-season fitness sessions at Red Hill last month as nothing more than a few mates catching up for a workout before he officially got down to business at Redcliffe.

Farnworth said the change of clubs would help him overcome the disappointment of Brisbane’s gutting 26-24 grand final loss to Penrith, who scored three tries in the last 18 minutes to clinch a third successive title.

“It was super tough … tough to get over it, especially the way we (lost),” he said

“I’m keen to move on and start working hard for this club.

“I’ve got a soft spot for the Broncos, having started and gone through there.

“But I’m here now and love it, and (I’m) keen to be part of a winning team.”

Herbie Farnworth.
 Farnworth is looking forward to a fresh start at the Dolphins after his grand final disappointment. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS 

Bennett was also on first-day duties on Monday, the coach off-contract at the end of the 2024 season and poised to be replaced by his assistant Kristian Woolf.

“He signed me on my first deal at the Broncs,” Farnworth said. 

“He was on the field loving it (on Monday), it was pretty cool to be back with him.

“I remember when I was 15, Mum and I came in from England and he had a good talk to me.

“He told me not to worry; he always makes you feel like everything’s going to be all fine, all good.”

A deadly force at centre, Farnworth had entertained the prospect of a move to fullback while at the Broncos but was long-odds to wear the No.1 given the emergence of Reece Walsh.

The Dolphins have options too, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Kodi Nikorima sharing the jersey last season.

Farnworth played a straight bat to questions about his positional preferences and said he’d forensically reviewed tape of his 2023 season.

“I’ve got a lot of things to improve on, l had a little look at the stuff I can do better,” he said.

“I won’t share it fully because I don’t want to give away anything, but it’ll be a good year this year.

“I am (tough on myself) for sure, but that’s the best way to be.”