Barba set for Sharks and NRL return


Premiership-winning full-back Ben Barba is set for a return to the NRL after agreeing to a one-year deal with reigning champions Cronulla Sharks, pending approval.

Barba was released by the Sharks in November, having failed a drugs test following their maiden title.

The 27-year-old tested positive for cocaine only days after the Sharks trumped Melbourne Storm in the grand final.

However, a comeback is on the cards after Cronulla revealed an agreement is in place for the upcoming season, should the deal be ticked off by the NRL.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Sharks said: "[Ben] has worked diligently on making his return to the NRL a reality and is continuing his well-being program.

"The club met with Barba and his management to discuss the new contract proposal for consideration by the NRL.

"The contract will be submitted to the NRL for approval and registration.

"Should his contract be ratified and accepted the club will work with the NRL Integrity Unit to determine a time frame for Barba's integration back into the Sharks NRL program and in relation to his return to training."

Barba featured in all 27 matches for the Sharks in 2016, scoring 16 tries and tallying 18 assists.