North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Ben Barba. Picture: Zak Simmonds
North Queensland Cowboys training from the Townsville Sports Reserve. Ben Barba. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Cowboys sack Ben Barba

THE North Queensland Cowboys have sensationally sacked star recruit Ben Barba on the eve of the NRL season over an alleged incident at The Ville Casino.

Barba was planning to return to the NRL after a three-year hiatus from the competition after testing positive for cocaine following Cronulla's 2016 premiership celebrations.

In a statement, Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini said that the club had released Barba due to 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," 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."