Bennett welcomes Farnworth’s return

Published 12:55pm 8 May 2024

Bennett welcomes Farnworth’s return
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins NRL Head Coach Wayne Bennett is pleased star centre Herbie Farnworth will make his return to the side for their clash against Manly at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night (7.50pm kick-off).

“He’s fit to play. That’s the main thing. It’s always good to have your top players back, so … (he’s) a month behind everyone else now but he’ll catch up pretty quick,” Bennett said after training today.

See photos from training at the end of this story

It’s good timing with Tesi Niu ruled out with an ankle injury suffered in last Saturday’s round nine 28-26 win over the Cowboys in Townsville.

Farnworth caught the attention of Bennett soon after he made the move from the UK as a teenager.

“He was exceptional when he came out. He was only 16, I think. I watched him train every day at the Broncos … he was doing extras when no-one else was doing anything, turning up on weekends and training. It’s a credit to him – what he’s done and what he’s achieved,” Bennett said.

“I had my eye on him when he was 16. He was just a bit young, that was all.

“He’s a very professional young man. He’s very good, he ticks all the boxes… the way he prepares himself, the way he conducts his lifestyle and all of that.”

The 24-year-old has only played four games for the Dolphins, since joining the squad this season, with an AC joint injury sidelining him in round five.

Slow recovery

Flegler who suffered a shoulder injury in the same game remains out and it is unclear when he will be fit to play.

“Nobody knows,” was the response from Bennett when asked when Flegler was likely to return.

The news is better for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who was running well at training today albeit on the sideline.

“The Hammer could be back next week. He was pretty close to this week but again we’re giving him an extra week,” Bennett said.

Kenny Bromwich will bolster the Dolphins’ pack when he makes his return from concussion protocol this week. He has been named on the bench with Kurt Donoghoe 18th man.

The Dolphins have had a tight turnaround to this week’s game, following Saturday night’s game in Townsville and the associated travel.

While it’s not ideal, Bennett said the squad had prepared as well as possible for Manly tomorrow.

“(We’ve prepared) not as well as you’d like to, but that’s the game. We’re all experienced enough at that now – five days, we’ve got to go back and play again. You like longer turnarounds but that’s not how it works,” he said.

The Dolphins played Manly once last year and were beaten 58-18.

“It wasn’t our best night. It was a bad night,” Bennett said.

“They’ve got some wonderful players there, so they’ll always be a threat, but I haven’t watched a great deal of Manly (this season).”

Photos from training today

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