The wisdom of two seasoned rugby league figures 15000 kilometres apart is keeping Broncos rookie Herbie Farnworth on track through the club’s dark days.
The England-born Farnworth’s mentor and uncle, Brian Foley, lived with him for several seasons in Australia, but has returned to Lancashire where he still communicates with his nephew and offers his advice via social media on What’s App.
Closer to Red Hill, Farnworth has leaned on the advice of veteran Darius Boyd as he learns to master centre play.
The 20-year-old has been named in the centres for Saturday night’s clash with the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium. He could also play wing if Kotoni Staggs, who trained on Tuesday, returns from injury and moves from the number 20 jersey and into the starting lineup.
Foley, who was Wigan Warriors recruiter and development coach for many years, is just a phone call away while Boyd is passing on his knowledge in his last season for the Broncos.
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Farnworth famously learned his rugby league skills on a Lancashire green with six training poles so it was fitting that before he spoke to media on Tuesday he was fine tuning his evasive skills around several poles at Red Hill.
"I am in contact with [Foley] all the time. I will probably ring him tonight actually, just thinking about it," Farnworth said.
"He always keeps it simple does Brian. He always says to focus on the simple skills and that if you master them then it all comes together.
"Darbs brings a lot to the team on and off the field.
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"On the field he is one of the best on the edges in reading attack. Off the field he talks a lot to us younger blokes. He is always coaching me and Xavier [Coates] and telling us things that made him what he is today, giving us tips and leading the standards for us."
The off-contract Farnworth, who has played all eight NRL games this year, has been offered an extension by the Broncos and also has other NRL clubs interested in him. Foley, who also doubles as Farnworth’s manager, has advised his nephew not to rush any decision on his future.
"At the moment I am just focused on playing my footy. I am contracted here until the end of the season," Farnworth said.
"I love the club here, 100 per cent."
Farnworth's maturity shone through when asked how he was coping with the relentless criticism of the players and the club after six consecutive losses.
"It is definitely a tough period but we know that if we are to get through this we have all got to stick together," he said.
"We have got a lot of young players so this is a really good experience for us.
"The first few rounds we won games comfortably and now we’ve had games where we have lost badly.
"We are definitely hearing all the criticism. It is always hard to take criticism but you have to take it on the chin and try and get better each week."