Ben Barba faces Super League ban following alleged assault

Ben Barba wins Man of Steel
Ben Barba was named 2018 Man of Steel in what was his only full season in Super League

Man of Steel Ben Barba will not be allowed to play in Super League if he is banned by the NRL in Australia, the Rugby Football League says.

The 29-year-old former St Helens full-back was the leading try-scorer in Super League in 2018.

He was sacked by his new club, North Queensland Cowboys, on February 1 without playing a game after an alleged assault on his partner at a casino.

The incident is being investigated by Queensland police.

And Barba looks likely to be banned for life by the NRL.

If that happens, the RFL say it will uphold the suspension, blocking a route back to Super League.

An RFL statement said: "We will always uphold any ban imposed by the NRL (subject to the right of appeal to our own operational rules tribunal), under a reciprocal agreement between the RFL and the NRL.

"Independent to that arrangement, the RFL board has the right to refuse registration to any player - and would also consult with Super League in that process.

"We are bound to follow that process - but, if the facts of this case turn out to be as reported, the RFL would condemn them as deplorable."

After failing a drugs test in 2016, Barba signed for French rugby union side Toulon in February 2017 in a controversial move that saw him escape being sanctioned because the suspension only applied to rugby league.

The full-back moved on to Saints three months later, but an independent panel upheld the decision to suspend Barba on his return to the sport and he was unable to play for them until August 2017.

He went on to score 28 tries in 23 games last season as Saints won the League Leaders' Shield before losing to Warrington in the play-off semi-finals.

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