Ben Barba: Super League’s Man of Steel sacked by North Queensland Cowboys after allegedly assaulting his partner

1 Feb

Ben Barba, Super League’s reigning Man of Steel, has been sacked after allegedly assaulting his partner in a casino.

North Queensland Cowboys have terminated Barba’s contract without him playing a game, having joined the NRL side from St Helens at the end of last season.

A club statement confirmed Barba had committed a ‘significant breach of the terms of his contract’.

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

“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.”

Barba is alleged to have assaulted his partner, Ainslie Currie, in a casino in Townsville, The Sydney Morning Herald report.

The NRL were made aware of the incident, which took place on Friday afternoon, and Queensland Police are investigating.

Currie has previously denied allegations she was assaulted by Barba, with photos showing her with facial injuries surfacing in 2013.

The couple separated soon after, but later reunited and had more children together.

Barba was named Man of Steel ahead of his return to Australia

Barba, from Darwin, Australia, played for Canterbury Bulldogs, Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks before joining St Helens on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

However, he spent just a season in Super League before penning terms with North Queensland Cowboys.

Barba was named Man of Steel and also won the Dally M Medal for the 2018 season.