After a historic Rugby League World Cup with Lebanon, hooker Robbie Farah has his sights locked on following up a special summer with a big campaign for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
After a fifteen year hiatus from the Cedars, where he represented both New South Wales and Australia, Farah made his mark on the international scene by captaining the side to their first ever finals appearance in a World Cup.
The experience, he says, was a career highlight.
“It was an unbelievable experience, probably one of the best things I’ve done in my career to be honest,” he said.
“The impact we had on and off the field was awesome and hopefully we’ve laid the foundations for Lebanon Rugby League to grow and move forward going into the future.”
Back in the Red and Green of South Sydney, Farah says that his focus is on returning to fitness levels and relishing the opportunity to get himself acquainted with some new faces, including World Cup-winning Kangaroo Dane Gagai.
“Obviously I had a bit of a break after the World Cup and didn’t start up back here until the new year,” Farah said.
“It was tough getting back into it after the boys had been training for two months, so for myself it was about getting up to speed and integrating back into the group.
“There’s a whole bunch of new faces and a lot of younger boys in the squad, so I’m just getting to know them, and obviously Dane (Gagai) started up the same time as me, so I’m getting to know him as well.”
After a two-month long break from playing, Farah says he is itching to get back on the field with the Rabbitohs against both the Wigan Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons in the International Double Header and Charity Shield respectively.
“I’m looking forward to both, getting out and playing footy,” said Farah. “Wigan will be a great challenge and the Charity Shield is always a big game every year.”
As one of the more experienced campaigners in the competition, Farah has kept an eye out for some of the young talent coming out of Redfern and hopes to not only mentor the up and comers, but also believes their presence will help him become a better player.
“You don’t like to name names and single anyone out, but there’s a really good bunch of young kids here,” said Farah.
“Obviously the fans got to see a few of them last year - guys like Cameron Murray, Campbell Graham and Tyrell Fuimaono. I’m sure there will be a few this year that make their debut and come onto the team.
“I think I guess for myself, being one of the older fellas, when you see the young guys coming in they really push you at training and really challenge you so it’s a great thing for me.”
The 34-year-old was blunt about his goals for the season, citing a semi-finals finish and a turnaround in fortunes as his priority for the Club’s 110th year.
“Just to get out there and play some good footy,” he added.
“Obviously it’s been a disappointing couple of years here at the Rabbitohs and we want to bounce back and turn things around and play some semi-final footy.”