St Helens frustrated over Barba hearing deferral

Ben Barba ban

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus has expressed his frustration at the time taken to set a date for the hearing over Ben Barba’s 12-match ban for recreational drug use.

The scheduled hearing has been deferred until next Wednesday which has angered the Saints chairman, with the club playing six Super League games since they signed Barba at the end of May.

Speaking to the club’s website, McManus said: “We were already bemused by the protracted period prior to being granted a tribunal hearing date. That has now been deferred further at the unilateral request of the RFL and without, in our opinion, good or valid reason.

“By next week it will already be six Super League games since we signed Ben Barba under the much heralded second marquee exemption ruling as proposed and recommended by the RFL itself.

“We merely legitimately seek to appeal the discretionary decision of the RFL to adopt his twelve match suspension from the NRL. We consider that we have an extremely strong case. However, the procedural process is proving to be inordinately long.

“That said, we now look forward to presenting our case at the Tribunal hearing now scheduled for Wednesday, in advance of our forthcoming game against Leeds.”

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