It will be a family affair in Brisbane and a move that might just appease Ben Barba and make him comfortable in Brisbane, with the Broncos signing Marmin Barba – the younger brother of Ben – on a 2-year deal.
With an impressive recruitment drive so far, signing Marmin strengthens the Broncos back-line stocks and halves stocks, with the young utility able to cover fullback and the halves.
The journey has not been an easy one for Marmin, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in his groin at just 19 but if he can win that battle – he overcame the cancer and is now better than ever – he can win any battle.
Andrew Gee, the Broncos Operations Chief, says Marmin was recommended to the club by manager Chris Orr and the club felt like it was a good move and fit.
“Marmin’s manager (Chris Orr) suggested him to us and we thought it would be a good idea,” Gee said.
“It will definitely be good for Ben from a welfare perspective to have his brother around the club.
“From all reports, Marmin is an outstanding young lad so it will be good to have him around.
“It’s always beneficial for any person to have support networks and it will be great for both Ben and Marmin to have each other at the club.”
Barba has also been a bit of a journeyman in his career, having played for the Parramatta Eels – when his cancer ordeal began – before moving to the Gold Coast Titans.
Despite his tough times – ones he has now overcome – his manager Gavin Orr believes the best of Marmin is yet to come.
“It was about family every step of the way and it’s worked out well for both of them. It’s a brand new start for Ben but it’s also a great new chapter for Marmin,” said Orr.
“Marmin will get a lot out of watching how Ben trains. Ben was Marmin’s weight a few years ago and Ben is now 92kg, while Marmin is about 78kg, so he has a long way to go.
“Marmin had bravely overcome cancer when the Titans threw him a lifeline. But it was a year of recovery because his knee didn’t come right until the last six weeks of the year, so the Broncos should get the best of Marmin.”
The tough times were not easy and just last year, Marmin said it was his brother Ben who offered all the support he needed during the ordeal.
“Ben’s pretty much the reason where I am in my career, he’s helped me out big time,” Marmin said.
“When I first got cancer, I thought that was it for me, my life was over. I had bad things running through my head, but within a few weeks they said I was cleared.
“Benny was a huge help for me. As soon as I heard I had it, I thought ‘I won’t be able to play sport ever again’, but Ben said stay positive.”