You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Cowboys fullback Ben Barba.

North Queensland have terminated the contract of Ben Barba after allegations he physically assaulted his partner at a Townsville casino on Australia Day. understands Barba was captured on CCTV footage and also spotted by several witnesses, with Townsville police now investigating the matter.

The Cowboys sacked Barba on Friday night.

Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini said: "When a player joins the North Queensland Cowboys he agrees to abide by the terms of the contract.

"After an internal investigation, it has been determined that this player has acted in contradiction to both the terms and the spirit of that agreement. Accordingly, the club has terminated his contract and has informed the NRL's Integrity Unit."

Greenberg: I can't see Barba ever returning

Barba was attempting to revive his career in the NRL after a stint in the Super League following his sacking by Cronulla after the 2016 grand final win for a second positive drug test. 

In a recent interview with, he claimed he was ready to make the most of his last opportunity to revive his NRL career.

"For a while there I didn’t know whether I would ever be back in this spot again and preparing for an NRL season," he said.

"Now I know I am on my last chance and I have to repay the Cowboys by playing wonderful football."

Before news of Barba's latest incident broke on Friday night, Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley said at a lunchtime press conference at Rugby League Central that the 29-year-old fullback had a chance to right the wrongs of the past.

"It's a big game for a lot of people but more so Benny," he said.

"He’s played well over there in the English Super League and, by all reports, he’s training the house down up there in North Queensland

"He can come back and put the stuff that happened to him behind him and pull on the shirt and represent his family and represent his culture strongly and show that if you do make a mistake, there’s always a chance to bounce back."

Barba began his career at Canterbury in 2008, winning the Dally M Medal the in 2012.

He signed with North Queensland after a stellar season for St Helens where he led all players with 28 tries and ranked third with 24 try assists.

Prior to departing for England, Barba played 168 NRL games across nine seasons, scoring 99 tries. 

Following a one-season stint with the Brisbane Broncos in 2014, Barba joined the Sharks in 2015 and was a key member of the club's premiership-winning outfit in 2016.

A product of Mackay, he was originally signed with St Helens for next season, but the club agreed to release the fullback from the final year of his contract to allow him to return home.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners