St Helens will reportedly release full-back Ben Barba from the final year of his contract as he seeks a move back to Australia.
Barba has been one of the catalysts behind Saints’ fantastic Super League form this season, the 29-year-old scoring 26 tries, reigniting his rugby league career after a failed attempt to switch codes.
The Australian penned a two-and-a-half-year contract when he moved to Langtree Park in 2017 but NRL.com reports St Helens have granted him an early release as he seeks to return to his homeland.
The former Cronulla Shark has always acknowledged his desire to return to Australia and his form for Saints has attracted plenty of attention with numerous NRL clubs keeping a close eye on him, despite Barba previously testing positive for cocaine twice.
Reports of a return Down Under for Barba before his contract has expired will not sit well with the St Helens hierarchy, who have often insisted he will be staying with the club for the 2019 Super League season.