St Helens great Jon Wilkin says he expects England’s Football League (RFL) to soften its attitude towards Ben Barba and offer him a lifeline in the Super League.
The 29-year old was sacked by North Queensland and received a lifetime ban following a physical altercation with his partner Ainslie Currie in a Townsville casino.
Wilkin admitted he felt sick to the stomach when he heard about the incident and the decisions that followed which included the RFL choosing to respect the NRL’s life ban decision.
However, Wilkin, who played with Barba last year, believes the league’s previous soft approach to serial offenders and lack of representative level talent in the UK game will one day see him return.
“There is no precedent set over here by the RFL (about banning players),” Wilkin told the BBC Rugby league podcast.
“Over here we are not as aggressive as the NRL with policing player’s code of conduct.
“There are a lot of second chances handed out and players don’t realise how lucky they are.
Former Penrith winger Zak Hardaker and former Eels member Gareth Hock were two players who had come into contact with the law in Australia and were still offered contracts over in the UK.
Ex-Cowboys hooker Scott Moore was welcomed back with open arms by second-tier club Rochdale after his release from prison following an assault on three police officers.