Ben Barba scores for the Cronulla Sharks.
Ben Barba scores for the Cronulla Sharks. CRAIG GOLDING

Sharks re-sign Barba to reduced deal

THE Cronulla Sharks have re-signed grand final fullback Ben Barba and sent his contract to the NRL for integrity unit approval and registration.

Barba agreed to terms for his new one-year deal on Tuesday and will be available to return in round 11 of the competition when the Sharks host the Cowboys in a Thursday night TV blockbuster.

He will miss the World Club Series, the Auckland Nines and the first 10 rounds after testing positive to cocaine during the celebrations of the club's historic 2016 premiership victory.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is now in talks with integrity unit boss Nick Weeks to determine when he can resume training.

It is understood Barba will be paid about half of what he was to originally earn for the 2017 season before he was suspended for 12 weeks and released from his contract.

Barba's manager Gavin Orr was pushing for season 2018 to be included in the new contract.

But the Sharks would only agree to the short-term contract in case he was to fall off the rails again.

Barba was released by the Sharks late last year.

He will continue rehabilitation treatment and be given the opportunity to prove he is worthy of a longer contract.

At 27, Barba knows this is his last opportunity.

Any further indiscretions would leave his entire career in grave doubt.

With the money saved from paying Barba only half of his original contract money, the Sharks are expected to sign hooker James Segeyaro as a replacement for Michael Ennis once he has been cleared by his English Super League club Leeds.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH


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