Reports Ben Barba is off to North Queensland Cowboys

James Gordon

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

MAN of Steel favourite Ben Barba is set to leave St Helens for North Queensland Cowboys at the end of the season, according to reports Down Under.

Barba, 29, has scored 29 tries in 29 appearances this season and a return to the NRL has been speculated heavily for several months.

St Helens are expected to move in to the market for Lachlan Coote should Barba leave, with the club expected to be in a strong position to negotiate a transfer fee for the full-back, who still has a year left on his deal.

The Courier Mail says Barba will sign a one-year deal with the Cowboys to prove his worth, and inherit the number one shirt made famous by Matt Bowen.