Broncos rule out injured centre Farnworth

Richie Kennar (l) will play his first NRL game of the year for Brisbane against Wests Tigers.
Richie Kennar (l) will play his first NRL game of the year for Brisbane against Wests Tigers.

Richie Kennar will play his first NRL game of the year for Brisbane, replacing injured centre Herbie Farnworth in Friday's clash with Wests Tigers.

Farnworth, who suffered a bad cork in last round's drought-breaking win over Canterbury, failed a fitness test on Thursday.

Former Melbourne and South Sydney flyer Kennar will play his first game for the Broncos since round 15 last year.

Farnworth joins an 11-strong injury list along with recent addition, captain Alex Glenn, who suffered a long-term knee injury during their win over the Bulldogs that snapped a six-game losing streak.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold admits they face a test of depth against the Tigers but is encouraged by the possible return of their big names as soon as next week.

Inspirational prop Matt Lodge (knee), centre Kotoni Staggs (hamstring) and hooker Jake Turpin (broken leg) may be back in a week for their round-11 clash with Melbourne.

Seibold said prized back-rower David Fifita (knee) and flyer Jesse Arthars (knee) had also shown promising signs but were still two to three weeks away.

"The good thing about the injury update is that we have got some players coming back," he said.

"We have been hit pretty hard but in the not too distant future we will get them back."

Seibold denied Fifita had suffered a setback as he recovered from knee surgery during the coronavirus shutdown despite speculation the Queensland forward may make a return this week.

"No. Right from the beginning we didn't know how long he would be," he said.

"It hasn't been delayed by any hiccups. It is just the rate of his rehab. We have to be cautious with it."

Seibold could not provide an update on Fifita's future with the off-contract back-rower still mulling over a staggering $1.25-million Gold Coast Titans deal for 2021.

"I am not going to be answering any questions (on Fifita's contract)," he said.

"There has been no news around that space.

"We are leaving David and his family to make a decision on what he wants to do next and there is certainly no rush from our end there."

Meanwhile, Seibold said he looked forward to gauging his improved team's progress against the eighth-placed Tigers after they finally notched a win albeit against the dead-last Bulldogs.

"I thought we made some solid steps forward last week," he said of the third-last Broncos.

"(But) we are under no illusions about the task that is in front of us."

Australian Associated Press