St Helens express frustration over Barba hearing deferral

St Helens have expressed their frustration over the length of time it has taken to finalise a hearing over Ben Barba’s 12-match suspension – with a date now fixed for next Wednesday.

The scheduled hearing of St Helens’ appeal surrounding the ban handed to their new marquee signing will take place next week, but Saints chairman Eamonn McManus believes the deferral of the date to that point is without “good or valid reason”.

He said: “We were already bemused by the protracted period prior to being granted a tribunal hearing date. That has now been deferred further at the unilateral request of the RFL and without, in our opinion, good or valid reason.

“By next week it will already be six Super League games since we signed Ben Barba under the much-heralded second marquee exemption ruling as proposed and recommended by the RFL itself.

“We merely legitimately seek to appeal the discretionary decision of the RFL to adopt his twelve match suspension from the NRL. We consider that we have an extremely strong case. However, the procedural process is proving to be inordinately long.

“That said, we now look forward to presenting our case at the Tribunal hearing now scheduled for Wednesday, in advance of our forthcoming game against Leeds.”