Super League vow to block any return for Ben Barba

Drew Darbyshire

Any attempt by Ben Barba to return to Super League will be blocked if he is banned by the NRL.

The 2018 Steve Prescott Man of Steel was sacked by North Queensland Cowboys on the weekend due to a ‘significant breach of the terms of his contract’.

Barba was yet to play a game for the Cowboys following an alleged altercation with his partner in a Townsville casino.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg confirmed Barba would not be permitted to join another NRL side if CCTV footage proves allegations he physically assaulted his partner, Ainslie Currie, on Australia Day.

The RFL is also set to block his return to Super League, where he spent 18 months with St Helens.

On a possible return of Barba, an RFL spokesperson said: “We will always uphold any ban imposed the NRL under a reciprocal agreement between RFL and the NRL.

“Independent to that arrangement, the RFL board has the right to refuse registration to any player – and would also consult with the Super League in that process.

“We are bound to follow that process – but if the facts of this case turn out to be as reported, the RFL would condemn them as deplorable.”

Barba’s likely path of resurrecting his career would be to a European rugby union club.