Ben Barba sacked before playing a game for North Queensland Cowboys
Barba left St Helens for the NRL side at the end of last season
Ben Barba, the reigning Super League Man of Steel, has been sacked by New Queensland Cowboys before playing a single game for the club.
The decision to terminate his contract was made after an alleged incident in a casino in Townsville.
A statement from the NRL side explained that the 29-year-old, who had left St Helens at the end of last season, had committed 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," said Laurence Lancini, the club's chairman.
"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 was released from his contract with Cronulla Sharks in 2016 after returning a positive test for cocaine. He later moved to French rugby union side Toulon, seemingly escaping sanctions which only applied to rugby league.
He later made the move to Super League with Saints, but his suspension was upheld and he was only able to play for them in August 2017.
After this, he went on to score an impressive 28 tries in 23 games - helping the club to the League Leaders' Shield. He wasn't, however, able to guide them to the Grand Final, with Warrington defeating them in the play-off semi-finals.