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English NRL star’s future remains in doubt after losing position battle

It’s been well documented that plenty of English NRL stars will have their contracts run out at the end of the 2023 season which has triggered speculation surrounding their future.

The list of Englishmen off contract for the end of 2023 include World Cup stars Dom Young, Herbie Farnworth, Tom Burgess and Victor Radley.

For one of those players in particular the decision to sign for the 2024 season and beyond could depend on a positional switch and it’s being reported in Australia that he’s failed to secure that position for 2023.

Herbie Farnworth nailed down his star status at the World Cup, particularly with his brace in the semi-final defeat to Samoa, but that doesn’t mean his status as a Brisbane Bronco is secured.

With the Broncos full-back spot up in the air heading into pre-season Farnworth had reportedly made it clear of his desire to give the position a go, but The Courier Mail in Australia have now confirmed that counterpart Reece Walsh will assume the role.

Walsh has joined the Brisbane side from New Zealand Warriors and aged just 20 he could be primed for the role of starting full-back for the foreseeable, or at least the remainder of his three-year contract.

For Farnworth, who has reportedly been subject to plenty of transfer interest including from new side the Dolphins, may seek another side to fulfil his wish of playing in the number one shirt.

Broncos’ CEO Dave Donaghy told the Daily Telegraph in Australia of the team’s desire to retain the England star.

“Herbie is a terrific player who’s really developed over the last few years, he’s coming into the peak of his game and we’d love to keep him, like we would all our players.

“He is a fine young man and had a great experience with England at the World Cup. He is great around the group and is set for a big year.

“He was a big loss last year when he went down injured. Coming back in, he will be like a new signing for the group given he missed half a season. We’re really looking forward to seeing what he does.

“There’s still a little bit to do around what the salary cap looks like and some uncertainty, but once we’re clear on that we’d love to start some discussions with Herbie and his management to keep him at the Broncos longer term.”

Prior to the injury that cut his season short Farnworth had tallied 10 tries in 12 games and he will now be one of the most significant names off contract at the end of 2023 so this position battle having swung against him could be the factor that sees him leave the Broncos.

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