NRL scandals: Tyrone May charged over sex tapes2:03
Panthers' Tyrone May has been charged following yet another NRL sex tape scandal.
Ben Barba will fight to overturn an NRL lifetime ban despite being charged by Queensland police with two counts of public nuisance over an Australia Day weekend incident at the Townsville casino.
The 2012 Dally M Medallist will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on March 22.
Barba reportedly will not face domestic violence-related charges because his partner Ainslie Currie has not made a complaint.
Barba was sacked by NRL club North Queensland without playing a game for the club last month over allegations he was violent towards Currie in the incident.
The NRL gave Barba a lifetime ban after viewing CCTV footage of the incident but Barba’s lawyer Campbell MacCallum claimed on Tuesday he would now attempt to have the ban overturned.
“He’s expressed his desire to play football this year,” MacCallum told reporters.
“He wants to explore his options in relation to challenging the NRL ban and hopefully play rugby league in some sort of capacity.
“I don’t think he’d play NRL but certainly local football, and that’s going to help his focus.
“He’s feeling the pressure of the media on him — he’s also feeling the pressure of not being able to play the game that he loves.
“It’s certainly pretty distressing for himself and a trying time for his family.”
In taking a stand Barba will not only have to fight against the ban issued by the NRL but the sentiment of CEO Todd Greenberg — who was CEO at the Bulldogs during Barba’s time at the club — and his adamant stance that the former star would never be welcomed back into the game.
After viewing video of the incident at the Townsville Casino earlier this year, Greenberg had confirmed there was a “physical altercation between the player and his partner” and Barba was banned from the NRL indefinitely.
“His registration with the game is no longer and I can’t see a time, at any time in the future, that he’ll be welcomed back,” Greenberg said.
“What I am going to say is that in the jurisdiction that I uphold, there’s no place for him. It’s probably time for Ben to find a new vocation.”
Barba was charged a day after telling a television news crew he had “lost everything” and threatened to “hurt” the reporter.
North Queensland coach Paul Green said Cowboys welfare officers would keep in touch with Barba.
“Our welfare guys continue to stay in contact with Ben. The club will continue to support him however we can,” Green said.
Green was not as expansive when told Barba intended to fight the NRL ban.
EXPLAINER: ARL Commission to consider crackdown on player behaviour1:23
February 28 shapes as a monumental day for the game as the ARL Commission gets set to consider behavioural guidelines and whether they can stand down players accused of serious crimes. (AAP Video)
Asked if Barba should be allowed to play again, Green said: “It’s probably not for me to comment.”
Besides the two charges, Barba was on Tuesday also banned by Queensland police from entering Townsville’s entertainment precinct for three months.
After winning a premiership with Cronulla in 2016, the star fullback copped a 12-match NRL ban for testing positive to cocaine for a second time.
He left for stints in French rugby union and the English Super League before being offered a lifeline by the Cowboys, only to be sacked on February 1 over the casino incident.