Herbie rises to occasion as England see off France

Proud parents Richard and Joanne with son Herbie Farnworth (s).

Proud parents Richard and Joanne with son Herbie Farnworth (s).

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Pendle-based Brisbane Broncos elite squad member Herbie Farnworth rose to the occasion for England Under 16s in their two-match series win against France.

The former Blacko primary, now Ermysteds Grammar School, Skipton, student, 16, excelled in both Test matches.

Several powerful, crunching tackles stood out, including one which saved the day in the dying seconds of the game, as the force of the hit knocked the would-be French scorer outside the field of play to win the match 28-18 for his side.

In the second Test, Herbie displayed what an all-round athlete he is, breaking the French line and French hearts with clever footwork and explosive speed, outpacing everyone, going 95 metres for the try of the series in a 28-20 victory.

Even the partisan French crowd rose to a outstanding display of pace and skill.

And later in the game, he added another try.

Such was Herbie’s display, he received the man of the match award as voted by the French players and coaches.

Herbie’s proud parents Richard and Joanne attended both games along with family friends.

Herbie has become the most sought-after junior in rugby with a host of league and union clubs clammering for his signature.

He will return to Australia this summer for a third time, with a view to joining Brisbane Broncos.

Former Pendle policeman Brian Foley, credited with developing some of the best talents to rise through the ranks at Wigan Warriors, including superstar Sam Tomkins, said: “Herbie’s a big stage player – he thrives on strong competition.

“I have been fortunate to have coached many talented young players who have gone on to succeed at the highest level possible, and Herbie falls into this unique category.

“It is all about preparing him for tomorrow.”

Herbie has already made a big impact on the rugby league scene after impressing in a six-week stint in Australia.

It wasn’t long before Herbie’s talent was catching the eye of coaches at Brisbane Broncos, one of the most successful clubs in Rugby League history.

The Australian giants were so impressed that they offered him the opportunity to return to Australia and play for their under-16 team.

But for now, Herbie’s attention lies closer to home as he looks to continue his progression in the England set up.

While at Blacko, Herbie helped his school team to a Lancashire tag Rugby triumph, before, the following year, inspiring his school team to their first-ever Yorkshire Cup win.