Toulon seal deal to bring Ben Barba to rugby

Ben Barba, NRL, Toulon
Ben Barba celebrates scoring a try in the NRL final (AAP)

Former Dally M winner Ben Barba has accepted a multi-million deal with French rugby giants Toulon but he's unlikely to play in the upcoming Brisbane Global Tens with the Australian Rugby Union set to enforce his NRL ban.

The 27-year-old is currently suspended from playing in the NRL due to a 12 match ban for illicit drug use.

After speculation surfaced that Barba could appear at next week's tournament, the ARU released a statement suggesting that he won't be allowed to appear.

"Australian Rugby's policy is to respect and recognise disciplinary action taken by other sports," the ARU said in a statement.

"Ben Barba was recently disciplined by both the National Rugby League and his club for illicit drugs offences. Given the serious nature of the misconduct and Australian Rugby's policy stance, it is inappropriate for Ben Barba to participate in the 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby 10s, which is an ARU-sanctioned event."

The premiership winning fullback had hoped he could return to the club after a brief flirtation with rugby union but the NRL refused to register his contract until his return from Toulon.

Barba informed Sharks management on Thursday that he had decided on signing a 2 year deal with the French club which would leave his future in the NRL in doubt.

"The NRL hasn't given me much," said Barba.

"I might never play the game again."

His manager Gavin Orr believes it's highly likely his charge will take part in the Brisbane Tens next weekend.

“I dare say he will play in this Tens tournament,” Orr said.

“Rugby has been on Ben’s radar before. At one stage he looked at being part of the Australian Sevens team for the Rio Olympics.

“Even before he joined the Sharks, he talked about challenging himself in rugby. Maybe things happen for a reason, but this is something he wants to pursue.”

Barba will joins former All Black Ma'a Nonu as one of Toulon's marquee players.


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