NRL.com have reported that St Helens fullback Ben Barba may leave the Super League on ‘compassionate grounds’ and could return to former side Cronulla Sharks at the end of the current season.
The article reports that Barba’s partner, Ainslie Currie, is suffering from homesickness which could see the in-form player return to the NRL.
The 2012 NRL Dally M Fullback of the Year is contracted with Saints until the end of 2019, but the report suggests he could return to Cronulla Sharks at the end of the season.
Rumours suggested Barba would return to the NRL after St Helens confirmed the signing of Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama from 2019, and the report from the official NRL website has added to the speculation.
The article further suggests that current-fullback Valentine Holmes could leave the side if Barba was to return to Shane Flanagan’s team.
North Queensland Cowboys have been linked with Holmes, but they may have to wait until the end of 2019 to offer him a deal under NRL contract rules.
The report on NRL.com reads: “It is understood a release on compassionate grounds is being considered, which could pave the way for Barba’s return to Cronulla in 2019.”