After a brief stint in the Super League with St Helens, Ben Barba will return to the NRL with the North Queensland Cowboys.
On the back of what has been a great individual season for Barba in England with 26 tries (1st in league) and 24 try assists (third), he’ll play for his fourth NRL club.
Needing just one more try for 100 career NRL tries, Barba has played in 168 NRL games to date.
Initially contracted to St Helens for next season, the club gave him an early release to return home.
A local Mackay product, Barba is being welcomed with open arms by the club.
“Ben’s form this year for St Helens has been of the highest standard,” Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr said.
“He’s been the best fullback if not the best player in the English Super League.”
The club are pleased to be able to give Barba the opportunity to play for them.
“He is from Mackay and has always had a desire to play for the Cowboys, but for whatever reasons the stars never aligned until now,” Parr continued.
“Ben has been looking to return to the NRL and with an opening at the fullback position at our club it presented the opportunity for him to do that.”
Equally pleased is club coach Paul Green who knows how much value Barba will add to the side.
“Ben is an extremely gifted player and I believe he can be a huge asset for our side next season,” Green said.
“He has been in fantastic form for St Helens and he still has a great deal to offer at NRL level.
“Ben hails from North Queensland and he is excited to be able to return home and represent the region.”