Why Ben Barba has been sacked by NRL side without playing a game

Reigning Super League Man of Steel Ben Barba has been sacked by North Queensland Cowboys.

Controversial Barba only joined the NRL side from St Helens at the end of 2018, but has been dismissed before even playing a single match.

According to NRL.com, Barba is alleged to have physically assaulted his partner on Australia Day, with the incident spotted by several witness and caught on CCTV.

The Cowboys issued a brief statement on February 1 to declare Barba’s contract has been terminated after "a significant breach the terms of 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."

The Cowboys have referred it to the NRL’s Integrity Unit.

Barba, 29, was attempting to revive his career in the NRL after a stint in Super League with St Helens.

He had moved to the UK in May 2017 after leaving Australia the previous year following a positive test for cocaine.

He scored 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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