NRL player Ben Barba has been sacked from the North Queensland Cowboys before playing a single game for the club following an alleged incident in a Townsville casino.
On Friday, the club confirmed they tore up the 29-year-old’s contract following a “significant” though unspecified breach of his playing contract.
According to a report on Nine news that aired on Friday evening, the former Dally M medallist was allegedly involved in an incident at a Townsville casino. Sydney Morning Herald has also reported Barba allegedly assaulted his partner, Ainslie Currie, in the incident.
It is unclear whether police charges have been laid, however Townsville police are reportedly investigating.
You can watch the Nine News report below, post continues after video.
Hours before news of Barba’s sacking broke, the controversial player was touted as a redemption story line for the revamped NRL All Stars, a team made up of Indigenous Australian players set to play their Maori counterparts in Melbourne this month.
The North Queensland club informed the NRL integrity unit of the matter on Friday before moving quickly to sack Barba later in the day.
“When a player joins the North Queensland Cowboys he agrees to abide by the terms of the contract,” Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini said on Friday.
“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 and Currie, who have four children together, have a history of alleged domestic disputes – Currie denied rumours Barba had assaulted her in 2013 after photographs depicting her facial injuries were published by the media.
Barba has not played NRL in Australia since he was sacked by his former club Cronulla for testing positive to cocaine following the club’s 2016 grand final win.
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