Ben Barba to Brisbane Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos have secured there man for next season with the signing of Ben Barba on a three year deal.
Canterbury Bulldog hierarchy have agreed to release Barba from his contract for family reasons, thus allowing the Dally M medallist to join the Brisbane Broncos.
Broncos and Barba had previously come to a verbal agreement, and with a confirmed release both parties have put pen to paper on Wednesday.
Barba, who came from Mackay, was on the radar of all the Queensland teams, but the Broncos won the race as Barba looks to follow ex-partner Ainslie Currie who is moving to Brisbane with their two children.
Last weeks reports indicated that Barba and his management were seeking a $1 million package including $500,000 in marquee and third-party agreements. However, it is understood that Barba will receive the same $350,000 per season deal he had with the Bulldogs.
Broncos will also be likely to pay a compensation amount to the Bulldogs as part of the severance agreement.
Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle said it was a complicated situation that is now resolved.
“There were many complicated elements that needed to be considered around Ben’s request for a release and we’re pleased to have achieved a result that leaves everyone comfortable with the outcome,” Castle said.
“While we have worked extremely hard with Ben, with his football and with his personal life, we accept that both of those things will be better if he is with family.
“We have confidence in our current roster, we have strong talent as part of our program and we have one of the best coaches in the game to continue to deliver results.”
Barba was grateful towards the Bulldogs and was also looking forward to playing with the Brisbane Broncos next season.
“Today I agreed to terms with the Brisbane Broncos which will allow me to move to Queensland with my family,” Barba said. “I would like to thank the Bulldogs for their understanding of my personal circumstances and for their total support throughout my career.
“I would like to now focus on getting back on the field and finishing the year on a positive note in the blue and white.”
The Broncos have been looking for that extra star power, and the signing of Barba is definitely that. The origin hopeful will have his sights set on playing fullback, with Josh Hoffman shifting to the wing or fill in at right centre for Justin Hodges.
Barba will be joining the Broncos with Roosters’ prop Martin Kennedy, and the Broncos are also looking at possibly bringing in Canberra ace Anthony Milford.
Broncos captain, Sam Thaiday, on Tuesday welcomed the possible new additions of Barba and Milford.
“It’s all talk for the time being, but if they (Barba and Milford) get the chance and opportunity to play for our club it would be fantastic for us,” he said.
“The indication of success is making finals, being in grand finals and winning grand finals.
“We want to be seen as a successful side.
“I think the business side of our club is fantastic, we make a lot of money every year as a club but I think it’s been a little while since we’ve been hugely successful on the football field.”