A rising star who left his East Lancashire village for Australia to pursue his professional rugby league dream is relishing his return home in the Rugby League World Cup.

Herbie Farnworth is excited to play in front of his parents for the first time since leaving school after being named in England coach Shaun Wane’s 24-man World Cup squad, which gets underway on October 15.

Farnworth, 22, was born in the village of Blacko and played amateur rugby league for Wigan St Patrick’s, before moving to Australia and joining Brisbane Broncos.

His sensational early-season form for the Broncos caught Wane’s eye but he was dropped from his squad after failing to meet the coach’s high off-field standards and had to make his case for a World Cup spot.

“A couple of things dropped off, things like communication, and I had to prove I still wanted to be part of the team,” Farnworth told a press conference at Worsley where Wane unveiled his squad.

Lancashire Telegraph: England head coach Shaun Wane. Pic: PAEngland head coach Shaun Wane. Pic: PA (Image: PA)

“To be named in the squad is an absolute dream. I’ve not played since round 12 but my eyes have been on the World Cup and I’ve been speaking to Waney quite a lot through the year and telling how much it means to me.

“It feels kind of weird that it’s here now but I can’t wait to play on English soil again.

“I’ve not played in front of my family for a long, long time, I think I was about 16 or 17 the last time, so that will be pretty cool.”

Farnworth, an all-round sportsman who was once on the books of Manchester United, has not played since damaging his bicep in June but will face Fiji in next Friday’s warm-up match in Salford and Wane has no concern over his fitness.

“It was an upper-body injury so he could run and he’s fit,” said Wane. “He’s dedicated and I know he’s been working really hard.

“My medical team has been speaking to the Brisbane medical so I have no concerns at all.”

Fans can take in games this Autumn in Wigan, Leigh, St Helens, Bolton and Manchester, with games in the men's, women's and wheelchair world cups running simultaneously at venues across the country.

The Welsh teams are also based in Preston for the duration of the tournaments.