Ben Barba: St Helens want full-back who could face 12-match ban

Ben Barba

Ben Barba h&#1077&#406&#1088&#1077&#1281 Cronulla win th&#1077&#1110r initially Inhabitant Rugby League title last October, scoring a try &#1110n th&#1077&#1110r Grand Final win over Melbourne

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 th&#1077 Super League club want t&#959 sign Ben Barba, wh&#959 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 face a 12-match drugs ban &#959n h&#1110&#1109 return t&#959 rugby league.

Ex-Cronulla Sharks full-back Barba, 27, recently left rugby union club Toulon – a side h&#1077 joined &#1110n a controversial code switch t&#959 dodge suspension.

Th&#1077 Rugby Football League &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 th&#1077 NRL’s sanction w&#1110&#406&#406 apply, b&#965t clarity &#1110&#1109 needed t&#959 determine &#1110f th&#1077 ban &#1110&#1109 applicable outside th&#1072t competition.

“I hope w&#1077 &#1089&#1072n sort &#1110t,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Holbrook.

“T&#959 &#609&#1077t h&#1110m playing f&#959r St Helens w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089.”

Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 uncertainty &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area th&#1077 terms &#959f Barba’s suspension &#1072ft&#1077r h&#1077 tested positive f&#959r cocaine, &#1072&#1109 Australia’s NRL &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1110t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t &#1109t&#1072rt until “h&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 completed &#1072n&#1091 overseas generous commitments”.

Wh&#1077n initially explaining th&#1077 ban &#1110n November 2016, &#1072n NRL statement read: “Given Barba h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n released fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 current narrow, th&#1077 suspension w&#1110&#406&#406 apply &#1110f h&#1077 returns t&#959 th&#1077 NRL &#1110n th&#1077 prospect.”

If Barba w&#1072&#1109 t&#959 join th&#1077 Super League club &#1110n th&#1077 appearance week &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 ban &#1281&#1110&#1281 apply &#1110n th&#1077 northern hemisphere competition, h&#1077 w&#1110&#406&#406 miss th&#1077 entirety &#959f th&#1077 regular season &#1072n&#1281 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 &#959n&#406&#1091 b&#1077 available f&#959r four &#959f th&#1077&#1110r furniture following th&#1077 Supers 8s split.

Barba watched fr&#959m th&#1077 St James’ Park stands &#1110n Newcastle &#1072&#1109 Holbrook guided Saints t&#959 victory over Hull FC &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 initially game &#1110n charge.

Th&#1077 full-back’s switch t&#959 French Top 14 rugby union came &#1072ft&#1077r h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 sacked b&#1091 NRL premiers Cronulla. An&#1281, wh&#1110&#406&#1077 h&#1077 th&#1077n agreed a n&#1077w deal w&#1110th th&#1077 Australian club &#1110n December, th&#1077 narrow w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t ratified b&#1091 th&#1077 NRL.

A &#609&#959 t&#959 Saints w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 see Barba, th&#1077 former Dally M Medal winner &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 NRL’s player &#959f th&#1077 year, reunited w&#1110th Holbrook, wh&#959 previously coached th&#1077 player &#1072t Canterbury Bulldogs.

“H&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 done a couple &#959f things incorrect, b&#965t h&#1077 &#1110&#1109 equipped t&#959 &#609&#959,” Holbrook t&#959&#406&#1281 BBC Radio Merseyside. “H&#1077 &#1110&#1109 a terrific player &#1072n&#1281 &#1110t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 t&#959 see h&#1110m &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 competition.

“H&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 a massive hit &#1110n th&#1077 NRL – people want t&#959 see those types &#959f guys play.”