Ben Barba was a rugby league player with the world at his feet – he could have achieved anything and everything.
And, in part he did. He was the Dally M Medal winner back in the NRL as well as the Man of Steel in Super League, but life has tended to unravel for Barba at points.
After an incredible stint at St Helens, Barba earned a deal back in the NRL with North Queensland Cowboys, but he never played a game following off-field problems.
That being said, the livewire’s quality was almost unmatched and he nearly joined another UK club in what would have been an incredible turn of events.
According to Leigh Centurions owner, Derek Beaumont, he almost made the move to his club.
“We’ve been so close to Jarryd Hayne and Ben Barba. He was done and it ended up not coming off – there have been a few close things,” Beaumont told the Dockhouse Rugby Show.
“I kind of guess even if it is a player that won’t fit or be good enough to add value to our squad, I still put that forward because it’s not my final decision to make. They will then have their say with (Chris) Chester and Lammy (Adrian Lam).
“I will give an opinion but I haven’t put anyone forward and thought wow and they haven’t tried to get them.”
Beaumont has also revealed that being in the second tier has hampered his recruitment despite Leigh playing so well in 2022.
“It’s a tough gig where you are with the uncertainty of the Championship. Even though we sit in a good place, we are still far away from where we want to be.
“It can all change so quickly. The difficulty of this club has been recruitment, if you can get that right you can be successful.
“If you want until the end of the year when you are in Super League then the supermarket shelves have been taken.”