A FORMER Ermysted's Grammar pupil is being touted as the next big thing in rugby league.

Last week, Herbie Farnworth came off the bench for Brisbane Broncos against Parramatta Eels in the NRL as sport steadily returns around the globe.

The story of the 20-year-old is a unique and inspirational one.

At age 10, Farnworth was destined for a career in football after being part of Manchester United’s development system.

However, an intervention from uncle Brian Foley, who worked at Super League club Wigan Warriors, encouraged him to try out rugby.

Foley recalls a simple method he used to teach his nephew the basics of the sport.

“He had no background in the game,” recalls Foley. “It was just me and him on the green with six poles pretending they were players.

Farnworth’s talent was for all to see as he was part of that famous Wigan St Patrick’s under-14s side.

“He was always going to make it,” Foley added.

“He had that special gift. When he got to 14/15 he had that physicality and determination.

“No one could have predicted what he was going to do but he was showing that potential that he was going to do something.”

Foley thinks back to an idea he had to advance Farnworth’s ability.

He said: “I told Herbie when he was 14 if you are going to do it proper let's have six weeks in Australia against the top competition.

“He got spotted there by the Brisbane Broncos. They didn’t know he was English.

“We had three weeks left of our holiday and they asked if he would come back to train the following year.

“When he got to 16, we had to make a decision. They wanted him to sign a full-time contract. I retired then and said I would go with him.”

The rest they say is history as four years later he is starting for one of the best clubs in Australian rugby.

Last year, the winger made his first team debut, and Foley describes his feelings at the presentation of the shirt before outlining his relative’s ambitions for the future.

“It is one of the most emotional things I have ever seen,” he said.

“He lives that lifestyle. If you ever wanted an ambassador for anything, he would be your man.

“Last year he played for the Brisbane Roar (Broncos feeder club) and in one game scored 34 points, breaking all the records.

“There are a whole host of NRL clubs and rugby union clubs over here and there who want to sign him. He is probably one of the fastest players at his age in the league.

“When you speak about England, his focus is on Brisbane and he is building it up from there. He is happy and content out there.

“People set goals but we never have, we take stages at a time. He is very ambitious and wants to be the best that he can be.

“It is a nice sporting story and a great example to young inspiring sportsmen.”