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Foxwell and Farmer ready to rip in for Wynnum Manly

The do-or-die clash between Brisbane Broncos feeder clubs Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Souths Logan Magpies on Saturday will be a cracker.

The Broncos called up several regular Hostplus Cup players from both sides for their clash with Melbourne Storm on Thursday night, including Blake Mozer and Josh Rogers, who both made their NRL debuts.

So, opportunity beckons for other players to step up in Cup this week and shine.

Two players confident Wynnum Manly will excel against Souths Logan are Kyle Foxwell and Darius Farmer.

Wynnum Manly utility Kyle Foxwell, who took out the BRL Player of the Year gong last year, said he was confident he could play his part for the side in the absence of Rogers.

The electrician, who started his rugby league journey at West Brisbane Panthers, said after having a couple of years away from the game, he was thrilled with what this year had brought.

“I started out on the Wests junior and then under 18 I went to Redcliffe for four years and played a bit of Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, Hastings Deering Colts and just a bit of training in the Cup system out there,” Foxwell said.

Foxwell in action during the first week of finals. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
Foxwell in action during the first week of finals. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

“And then COVID year I actually took the whole year off once the season got cancelled and then I ended up playing premier rugby union the following year, in 2021, for Norths Rugby Club.

“I sort of just fell out of love for the game… and then Tye Ingebrigtsen actually reached out to me for me to go back and play rugby league for Wests in the BRL last year, which was really good.

“I’ve probably had the best year of footy I've ever had this year... just have that love back for the game again.

“Coming back and picking up the BRL player of the year last year and then what's come this year, yes, it's been a bit of a dream come true and I've really enjoyed it.

“I got my Cup debut early on in the season and have progressed through… I just take the opportunities where I've got them and played a couple of different positions where needed.”

The Wavell State High School graduate, 24, said he was grateful to make his Cup debut this year and was stoked to be playing finals footy.

“It’s a good opportunity… a bit of a battle of the semi-professional players,” Foxwell said.

“Our goal as a team is just to put everything together that we all started back in November. All the blokes that are playing this week are all the blokes who were there in pre-season in November, so yeah, just putting everything we've practised all year together on Saturday. To progress would be a massive achievement.

“I've got the love back for the game. I'm always just going to put my best foot forward and play the best footy I can every week.”

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head said Foxwell was a good inclusion because of his versatility.

“He's been able to play at halfback or hooker or off the bench, I think he’s even played some time at centre… his versatility is really important to for us,” Head said.

Farmer, who started playing rugby league for Hibiscus Coast Raiders in New Zealand and joined Wynnum Manly from Brisbane Tigers this year, said he loved the club, the culture and could not wait to rip in on Saturday.

“I love the support that I have at this club,” Farmer said, adding it felt like home and his focus was on doing his job for the club he loved so much.

“My aim is to bring energy and defend well with my edge and middles… to provide impact throughout the game when I need to.”

Farmer, a youth worker at Logan with aspirations to coach later in life, said preparation was key for him to “perform the way I need to for my team” and it would be “a massive dream” to progress.

“I haven't really played in many grand finals and not even in the final series… to be able to play in one for a club that I really enjoy being with, for finals or in a grand final, and win, that would be pretty epic,” Farmer said.

Farmer during week one of finals. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL
Farmer during week one of finals. Photo: Jim O'Reilly/QRL

“I’ve never really felt that sensation of winning a grand final, so it would be awesome to win.”

The inspiration for Farmer to keep pushing? His dad. The inspiration to constantly strive to be better? The children he works with.

“I like working with kids, it’s really very rewarding. I really enjoy the time with the kids and hopefully trying to direct them into a better way of life,” Farmer said.

“With footy, I want to put my best forward for my teammates, for the club, the jersey that I'm wearing… I put all of my energy into that. Rugby league is a huge part of my life.

“I know that our side will go really, really well… as much as we love the Broncos boys and they do really, really well for us, this is kind of the moment we've be waiting for… it's the next man up kind of mentality and, whoever can get the job done on the day is there for that reason.

“We’ve got junior kids coming up to fill spots into a very high pressure game. I know everyone in our team who takes the field, we’re going to put the best of Wynnum Manly players out on Saturday, to perform and get the job done.”

Head said Farmer had been excellent for the side this year.

“Darius brings size and aggression and a little bit of intimidation as well,” Head said.

Farmer during Activate! Queensland Country Week. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Farmer during Activate! Queensland Country Week. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

“Being out in the back row, he carries the ball nice and strong on usually the opposition half.

“From an attack point of view, he usually gets our sets off to a set start and then from a defensive point of view, usually has a target on the opposition half as well to sort of put some inside pressure on and to try and give us plenty of opportunity to be able to defend whatever shape they're throwing at us.”

Head said there was plenty of excitement about the weekend.

“At the start of the year if you said we'd be in the second week of the semis, we'd certainly take that… we've put ourselves in a position now where we think we've got more in us and we believe we've got more in us," Head said.

“You’re never happy until you get to where you want to get to and we still think we're going along that road… it's an exciting challenge for us and as a club, we're super excited about what's coming up.”

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