Barba sacked following alleged domestic violence incident
Ben Barba's NRL career appears over after the former Dally M champion was sacked by the Cowboys on Friday amid a domestic violence allegation.
The Courier-Mail understands Barba is alleged to have attacked his partner and mother of their four daughters, Ainslie Currie, at a Townsville casino over the Australia Day weekend.
North Queensland officials did not hesitate in tearing up Barba's one-year contract after viewing CCTV footage of the incident. The Ville Casino is a club sponsor.
The alleged incident is under police investigation, however the Cowboys have punted Barba before he could play a game for the club.
Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini said Barba's actions did not align with the club's values.
"When a player joins the North Queensland Cowboys he agrees to abide by the terms of the contract," he 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, 29, told The Courier-Mail in October he was on his last chance with the NRL, having only returned to Australia late last year after serving a 12-match ban for testing positive to cocaine in 2016.
"It crosses my mind just about every day - one more mishap and my NRL career will be over, just like that," he said.
"I know this is my last chance to make better choices than I have in the past."
The Mackay product rose to fame in 2012 after producing an incredible season to be crowned the NRL's No. 1 player.
But his career has since been littered with controversy, with the NRL investigating domestic violence claims involving Ms Currie in 2013.
Barba left the Bulldogs in 2014 to play for the Brisbane Broncos, but his career at Red Hill was cut short after one season when he was moved on by former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.
Barba regained his best form at Cronulla in 2016, helping the Sharks clinch the club's maiden NRL title.
But he recorded his second positive illicit drugs test during the premiership celebrations which attracted an automatic 12-game ban.
Barba headed to French rugby and the English Super League for two years before the NRL agreed to let him back into the game, with the Cowboys offering him a career lifeline.
But his NRL career appears likely to finish on 168 games after league boss Todd Greenberg last month promised to come down hard on misbehaving players following the game's off-season from hell.
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