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Ben Barba

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Rumours still circulating about Barba going back to the NRL.

RUMOURS are swirling forgotten rugby league star Ben Barba will return to the NRL soon.

The Cronulla premiership player has been in red-hot form for English club St Helens and is the front-runner to take out the Super League’s Man of Steel award this year.

The 28-year-old fullback reportedly remains under contract with St Helens through to the end of the 2019 Super League season, however, the former Bulldogs and Broncos star has been linked with a return home to Australia in coming months.

The Australian’s Brent Read told Triple M’s Rush Hour with Mark Geyer on Thursday night Barba has been freed up to get an early release from St Helens by the club’s recruitment of Wests Tigers speedster Kevin Naiqama on a three-year deal.

 

 

 

http://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/rumours-swirling-ben-barba-is-coming-home/news-story/21b84bc4bd7cc1ea12ca3f0cf8240201

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This was always going to happen if we're all honest. Ben Barba was one of the best players in the NRL 3/4 years ago and yeah he had a couple of wayward seasons but this stint in SL has given him all the confidence in the world and I'm sure a return to the NRL will happen in the near future. 

If he sees the season out with Saints and can help them win silverware, then i'm not sure anybody loses here. Kevin Naiqama is a decent player to get in if this does go through. 

Edited by hunsletgreenandgold

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Agree with the above, if he sees the full season out and then goes it will have been great for all.

Wont be good if he left soon given how Saints have looked after him and moved the team round to accommodate him. Think he will be missing the sun and the chance to play Origin but he will surely be looking at the chance to play at Wembley & Old Trafford as well as winning the MOS so may just get his head down for 6 months and see it out.

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Don't think anyone will be surprised if he does head back to the NRL, but the article, to me, sounds more like "he's doing well over in SL, so of course he'll be coming back to the NRL now".. the traditional NRL attitude towards SL. but maybe its just me.

Not sure how salary caps are looking in the NRL, but Wests could be a good fit for Barba. With Ricky Leutele signing for Toronto, a return to the Sharks could also be on the cards.

Hope he stays though, would be great for Saints fans to see the likes of Barba and Naqaima in the same Saints team, if only for a season.

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11 minutes ago, EastLondonMike said:

Don't think anyone will be surprised if he does head back to the NRL, but the article, to me, sounds more like "he's doing well over in SL, so of course he'll be coming back to the NRL now".. the traditional NRL attitude towards SL. but maybe its just me.

Not sure how salary caps are looking in the NRL, but Wests could be a good fit for Barba. With Ricky Leutele signing for Toronto, a return to the Sharks could also be on the cards.

Hope he stays though, would be great for Saints fans to see the likes of Barba and Naqaima in the same Saints team, if only for a season.

It’s very often a true attitude of players from down there who want to go and play again at the pinnacle , and you can’t blame them . It’s the player wanting it as much as the NRL wanting them back 

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If St Helens get Naiqama, he and Regan Grace can at least compare hair heights.

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23 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

If St Helens get Naiqama, he and Regan Grace can at least compare hair heights.

They did famously say in commentary that naiqama was 5’10 ... or 6’5 if you count the hair 

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2 hours ago, Eleftherios said:

I suppose it was inevitable, should this turn out to be true. I've enjoyed watching him play over here.

Not only that, but he has acted as a wonderful ambassador too. One of the best to come over in recent seasons and he's been a credit to himself and the game. Will certainly miss him if he does take a holiday back in Australia

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1 hour ago, Futtocks said:

If St Helens get Naiqama, he and Regan Grace can at least compare hair heights.

You wouldn't want to sit behind them in the cinema.

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I will be surprised if he stays at my club but I don't blame him if he wants to go back home he has been a joy to watch.

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50 minutes ago, Ullman said:

You wouldn't want to sit behind them in the cinema.

If the seating was sufficiently raked, at least you'd have a place to rest your jumbo Coke and bucket of popcorn.

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1 hour ago, DoubleD said:

Not only that, but he has acted as a wonderful ambassador too. One of the best to come over in recent seasons and he's been a credit to himself and the game. Will certainly miss him if he does take a holiday back in Australia

He's been behaving very well, from what I've seen. Seeing him pose for selfies with opposition fans' kids last weekend showed that he can be the model citizen, despite his past problems.

If St Helens are canny, maybe they could "lose" his passport. :wink: 

Edited by Futtocks

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Hopefully he will be safely back in Oz before Cas vs Saints part 3 in a few weeks..don't think I can face watching otherwise!

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It’ll happen, eventually. Ideally not till the end of his contract but I’m biased and I never want to see him leave Saints. 

A long shot perhaps but hopefully Naiqama coming frees up Ryan Morgan, who has suffered from homesickness, to go home and Barba to remain. 

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1 minute ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’ll happen, eventually. Ideally not till the end of his contract but I’m biased and I never want to see him leave Saints. 

A long shot perhaps but hopefully Naiqama coming frees up Ryan Morgan, who has suffered from homesickness, to go home and Barba to remain. 

Wishful thinking, a lot more people want Barba at their NRL club than Morgan, even though the latter has been good.

Enjoy Barba while he's here, just as you enjoyed Meninga or Lyon.

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2 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

It’ll happen, eventually. Ideally not till the end of his contract but I’m biased and I never want to see him leave Saints. 

A long shot perhaps but hopefully Naiqama coming frees up Ryan Morgan, who has suffered from homesickness, to go home and Barba to remain. 

Barba will be going but not till the end of the season,  Wilkin all but admitted as much in an interview at the club earlier this week. 

Naiquama isn't coming as Barba's replacement,  he's coming to replace Morgan who wants to return to Australia. The only unknown is whether that will happen immediately or whether it will be for 2019 as Morgan currently doesn't have an NRL club to go to. 

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I hope he stays at Saints, he has been good for the game.

 

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Itll be a shame to see him go despite the club he plays for. He's great to watch. Any concern at Saints he'll take Grace with him?

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2 hours ago, JohnM said:

Itll be a shame to see him go despite the club he plays for. He's great to watch. Any concern at Saints he'll take Grace with him?

He can take him. 

I like Regan Grace, I know a lot don’t but he’s nowhere near as good as some seem to think he is. Defensively he’s pretty poor and your heart is in your mouth when a kick goes over to him (it wasn’t a coincidence that Cas we’re doing that last week). 

Thompson and Percival would be bigger losses than Grace. 

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8 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

He can take him. 

I like Regan Grace, I know a lot don’t but he’s nowhere near as good as some seem to think he is. Defensively he’s pretty poor and your heart is in your mouth when a kick goes over to him (it wasn’t a coincidence that Cas we’re doing that last week). 

Thompson and Percival would be bigger losses than Grace. 

I totally agree , I thought I was in a tiny minority . He has a lot of frayed edges from what I see . His defensive positioning and strength can and will be exploited and he’s a bomb target . He is fast and can be elusive but still very early days and a long way off the complete package , although that’s no surprise with the rapid strides he’s made . Just needs time and experience but I’d probably not go over the top yet , I guess saints under Holbrook or him aren’t 

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31 minutes ago, DavidM said:

I totally agree , I thought I was in a tiny minority . He has a lot of frayed edges from what I see . His defensive positioning and strength can and will be exploited and he’s a bomb target . He is fast and can be elusive but still very early days and a long way off the complete package , although that’s no surprise with the rapid strides he’s made . Just needs time and experience but I’d probably not go over the top yet , I guess saints under Holbrook or him aren’t 

Speed to burn and a good finisher but defensively naive and dodgy under a kick - essentially Kevin Penny

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Barba isn’t going to stay around; so enjoying watching him play whilst we can.

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3 hours ago, hunsletgreenandgold said:

Speed to burn and a good finisher but defensively naive and dodgy under a kick - essentially Kevin Penny

Grace is a thrilling attacking player who can step and accelerate through gaps. Agree he is not defensively as good as the elite NRL wingers and isn't the big metre monster ala Blake Ferguson .  He can improve though  as he's still very young.  Let's hope he doesn't go to union.... 

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