Barba reveals plan to appeal NRL ban

BEN Barba has revealed plans to appeal his NRL ban, despite being charged over an incident which allegedly left his partner injured and his once glittering rugby league career in tatters.

Barba handed himself in to Mackay police on Tuesday and was charged with two counts of public nuisance at Townsville Casino on Australia Day when his partner Ainslie Currie was allegedly injured.

The former Dally M Player of the Year was ordered to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on March 22.

He was also issued with a police notice banning him from the Townsville Safe Night Precinct for three months.

Barba's $300,000-a-year contract with the North Queensland Cowboys was torn up and he was deregistered by the NRL after officials viewed CCTV footage of the Townsville incident.

He is now working as a $20-an-hour labourer at a Mackay garage door manufacturing business.

He and Ms Currie and their four young children are living with Barba's parents in their public housing home.

Barba's lawyer, Campbell MacCallum, said his client planned to appeal the NRL ban to try and get back on the football field.

"He's expressed his desire to play football this year," Mr MacCallum said.

"He wants to explore his options in relation to challenging the NRL ban and hopefully play rugby league in some sort of capacity.

"I don't think he'd play NRL but certainly local football, and that's going to help his focus.

"He's feeling the pressure of the media on him - he's also feeling the pressure of not being able to play the game that he loves.

"Its certainly pretty distressing for himself and a trying time for his family."

Mr MacCallum said he had not yet been provided with the police allegations and did not know how Barba would be pleading.

Barba entered the police station via the back entrance to avoid waiting media.

Ben Barba leaving Mackay Police station with lawyer Campbell MacCallum. Picture: Caitlan Charle
Ben Barba leaving Mackay Police station with lawyer Campbell MacCallum. Picture: Caitlan Charle