Wayne Bennett has told The Courier Mail that Ben Barba has no future at the Broncos.
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Ben Barba’s career at the Brisbane Broncos appears to be over after the club could not guarantee him a place in the team in 2015.
The Cronulla Sharks are believed to be interested in the 2012 Dally M winner, who failed to make an impact at the Broncos in what was a struggling side.
Barba’s loss of form, combined with the arrival of new coach Wayne Bennett, has resulted in the club telling Barba he is free to negotiate with rival clubs.
“Look, I don’t want to lie to Ben and I don’t want to lie to the fans. I could have made out that it would be all rosy for Ben Barba next year but the reality is it might not be so rosy,” Bennett told The Courier Mail.
“I have given permission for Ben to negotiate.”
Bennett confirmed the arrival of Anthony Milford had pushed Barba out of the starting side.
“At this stage, (Anthony) Milford is going to play five-eighth and I can’t guarantee Ben a place in the team. I’ve spoken to Ben and he accepted my position.
“It was hard telling him that, of course it was. But I’d rather do it this way than him not playing in the NRL at all and then there’d be a lot of grief for people.
“I can’t guarantee Ben would even play off the bench. He did well defending in the frontline last season but the reality is he would have to defend in the ruck if he played off the bench and that’s a big ask.”
Barba is now tipped to join the Cronulla Sharks, who are in the midst of a huge overhaul.