NRL to “try and block Ben Barba return to Super League”

James Gordon

The NRL could try to block any possible to return to Super League for former St Helens full-back Ben Barba, according to reports Down Under.

Barba, 29, was sacked by North Queensland Cowboys before even playing a game for his new club following a “significant breach of the terms of his contract”.

And he will now be banned from playing in the NRL by chief Todd Greenberg, who also wants him banned from playing in Super League.

Addressing the media on Australian television, Greenberg said: “Ben Barba will be out of the NRL and I can’t see him ever returning.

“If there is domestic violence, violence against women, you don’t have a place in the game. I can’t be any clearer than that.

“Quite frankly, the off-season has been a complete train wreck.”

The 2018 Man of Steel, Barba has courted controversy for much of his career despite his undoubted talent on the pitch.

The 2012 Dally M winner, he was stood down by Canterbury in 2013 following off field issues, while Greenberg was at the Bulldogs.

He was sacked by Cronulla in the months after their 2016 NRL Premiership win for testing positive to having cocaine in his system, and that saw him switch codes to play rugby union for French club Toulon.

That proved a short stint, and he joined St Helens in May, but first had to serve a 12-game ban before playing in Super League.

Now a return to European rugby union may be Barba’s only option, should the move to have him banned from Super League be successful.