Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has revealed he’s “still interested” in pinching Broncos and England international Herbie Farnworth from his old haunt.
But Bennett may have his work cut out for him in a competitive player market after the 22-year-old’s impressive World Cup campaign for England.
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Although the Brits were knocked out by Samoa in a World Cup boilover, Farnworth starred for the English, further improving his status as one of the game’s most coveted stars.
Much has been said about the Dolphins and the failure to attract a big name star but Farnworth could be an attractive proposition.
Farnworth had already turned the Broncos down in May when he signed a one-year deal at Red Hill but is eager to ply his trade as a fullback, rather than a centre.
At Brisbane, Reece Walsh and Selwyn Cobbo are expected to battle it out for the fullback role.
At the Dolphins, former Cowboys Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is believed to be the frontrunner for the No. 1, while Jamayne Isaako is also a contender.
Regardless, Bennett is eager to try to get his man.
“Herbie only signed for one year, so we’re definitely interested,” Bennett said.
“I was interested in him last year and our interest is still there.
“I’m not going to talk about positions with Herbie, but the bottom line is he is back on the market and we’re still very keen on him.
“We had a talk to him last year and he wanted to stay at the Broncos, which he did, that’s fine, but he is a free agent again.
“I’m still interested in signing Herbie, so we’d like to have a chat again.”
Farnworth has been with the Broncos since he was 15 but with the path to the fullback spot in Brisbane seemingly closed, he could look elsewhere.
Broncos recruitment boss Simon Scanlan told NewsCorp there was some salary cap pressure.
“I don’t know if we can keep Herbie,” he said.
“We’d love to keep him but what other clubs are prepared to pay him, I can’t answer that.”
Another club that’s definitely interested is the Bulldogs, as Phil Gould revealed fellow Brit Luke Thompson was leading the charge for his signature.
The Bulldogs are expected to try to sign either Farnworth or Panthers back Stephen Crichton, who buried the English and sent Samoa into the World Cup final.
Fullback is one position the Bulldogs don’t have nailed down.
Bulldogs football boss Phil Gould told NewsCorp: ““Never spoken to him (but) Luke Thompson said he was very impressed with him from the RLWC. That’s all I know,” he wrote in a text exchange.
“Luke was particularly keen on Herbie.
“I think he manages himself and I’m told he’s sorted elsewhere. I haven’t delved into it and haven’t spoken to Luke since England lost last week.
“But yes, Luke was very impressed with several of the UK squad, including Herbie.
“Several have indicated they’d like to play in the NRL. There’s plenty of talent there.”
Adding a fullback to five-eighth Matt Burton and hooker Reed Mahoney, the Bulldogs are reportedly looking to dip back into the Eels in the hunt for either Mitchell Moses or Dylan Brown to be their No. 7.
However, the Broncos also like their chances of keeping Farnworth right where he is.
“Herbie is coming into his best footy,” Broncos coach Kevin Walters said.
“Herbie has been here a long time. He has been here since he was 15 and his best football is in front of him, whether it’s at centre or fullback.
“I’m not sure if he thinks he is a long term fullback but he wants to see if he can handle the position and I am happy to accommodate that.
“He has a huge future at the Broncos.”