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Robbie Farah's NRL autumn years are fast turning into an Indian summer, the veteran hooker lapping up the support of two Wests Tigers' top brass that stood by him during his darkest days.

Farah's dismissal from his junior club three years ago ranks among rugby league's messiest exits.

But while there's 15 NRL rivals to potentially pick up the pieces with, you only get one mum.

And Farah's loss of his mother, Sonia Farah's death after her battle with pancreatic cancer days after her son blitzed a 2012 Origin outing, still trumps anything the game can toss up.

Former NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who has recently taken over as Wests Tigers chairman, offering his support both during Sonia's illness and after her passing stuck with Farah.

Especially now they've both at Concord along with Michael Maguire, rugby league's swings and roundabouts drawing the trio together from Farah's toughest times to an unexpected Tigers swansong.

"I've had a relationship with Barry for many a year," Farah told

Tigers hooker Robbie Farah.
Tigers hooker Robbie Farah. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"When he was premier of NSW he actually came to my mum's funeral and at the time that meant a hell of a lot.

"I remember I'd organised for my mother to be at that Origin to watch me play and she was meant to be in a corporate box.

"She never made it in the end but Barry had a big bunch of flowers there waiting for her with a nice little message. Things like that stay with you and he's a great man.

"He's someone that I've had a relationship with for a long time and he's someone that I've stayed in touch with throughout the years.

"There was talk a couple of years ago that he might have come on as a chairman, but it never eventuated. It's great that we've finally got our man.

"I'm over the moon that he's finally involved in the club."

At 35 and in his 18th season of first grade, Farah figured he'd be retired or playing in England by now, not claiming back-to-back man of the match awards as he lines up to take on Canterbury this Sunday, or hinting at possibly playing beyond 2019.

It was Maguire who kept his career going, tossing out a Rabbitohs lifeline during the 2016 off-season.

Again, the support Farah received has him confident the Tigers are tracking for success under the watch of he, O'Farrell and CEO Justin Pascoe once the latter's NRL-suspension expires in June.

Farah doesn't shirk Maguire's reputation as a brutal taskmaster.

"Name me one team who's won a premiership without hard work," he says.

Wests Tigers v Bulldogs - Round 3

But it doesn't sit well when the coach's common touch goes unnoticed either.

Not when it has Farah filling his boots rather than hanging them up.

"I'm grateful and fortunate to be working under him, I enjoyed my time under him at the Bunnies and I think he's the right man to take the Tigers forward," Farah said.

"He stripped it right back [at South Sydney]. He just wanted me to enjoy my football. He took most of the responsibility away from me in terms of leadership and all those things.

"He just said 'I don't want you to worry about that, I just want you to play good football'.

"Even media, 'he said don't worry about talking to them, just enjoy yourself and being around the boys'.

"It was good for me at the time, it was a circus back then after leaving the Tigers and it allowed me to focus on my footy.

"And that's what I've found with Madge. He's a coach that is about the player first, what's best for the player and for me he knew what worked then.

"He protected me when I needed it. I enjoy working with him because he cares so much about his players and his team."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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