Brisbane centre Herbie Farnworth watched the 2014 NRL grand final back in Lancashire and knew that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Burgess brothers.
South Sydney won that decider 30-6 against Canterbury and it once again proved that imports from England could dominate on the biggest rugby league stage.
Brisbane’s 23-year-old England international Farnworth will play Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium in Friday night’s qualifying final with the goal of ultimately emulating his idols, before leaving to join the Dolphins in 2024.
“I’ll never forget watching Sam, George and Tommy Burgess win the 2014 GF for Souths on TV in England,” Farnworth told AAP.
“George scored a freakish try and Sammy smashed them down the middle after breaking his cheekbone in the first tackle and playing on.
“It was a crazy final and massive in England. It did a lot for me as a young player seeing the English boys over here and winning the thing. It has been a dream of mine to play in a finals series ever since, and especially for the Broncos.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was watching them just get pipped at the post by the Cowboys in the 2015 GF.
“Our goal is to win the thing this year. We have the team to do it.”
Farnworth is realistic enough to realise his dream is the same as all 136 players who will run out in the first week of the finals series.
There is no shortage of motivation for a Broncos side that last won an NRL final in 2018 and has not claimed a title since 2006.
“If we can bring the trophy back to Brisbane that would be unbelievable,” Farnworth said.
“I had come out to Australia in 2013 and 2014 and been in the Brisbane EPD (elite player development) squads so I was a Broncos fan then.”
He was brought to Brisbane to pursue his dream of playing NRL by uncle Brian Foley, who was a Wigan official when four-time premiership winning Broncos centre Steve Renouf played for the Warriors in 2000 and 2001.
“I had been around to Steve’s house for dinner and became good friends with his son Charlie,” Farnworth said.
“He has always been really good to me and for Steve to take any sort of interest was super, super special.”
Farnworth is in the same left centre position that Renouf played in.
Renouf, known as “The Pearl”, has always said he wanted Broncos players coming after him to emulate his achievements. He told AAP recently Farnworth was a player who could inspire the Broncos to title success.
“Steve has done so much for the club so it humbling for him to say that,” Farnworth said.
“My first proper year here (in the NRL at the Broncos) was the wooden spoon season in 2020 so it would be unbelievable to win it in my last year.
“I feel like all the boys can push an extra gear and win this thing.”