2012 Dally M medallist Ben Barba is set to make his return to the rugby league field for the 2024 season after being lured by the Sarina Crocodiles.
The Sarina Crocodiles compete in Queensland in the Mackay District and recently announced the signing of Kane Linnett as their captain and coach.
During his time at the Canterbury Bulldogs (2008-13) in the NRL, Barba was recognised as one of the premium elite players of the competition and would be honoured with the Dally M medal in just his fifth season.
The 31-year-old returned down under with the North Queensland Cowboys in 2019 but was cut from the club before playing a game. The fullback's history also includes a stint with Super League side St Helens in 2018, where he won the Man of Steel Award as the competition's best player.
“I think just coming back home to be closer to family again really,” said Sarina president Shannon Cleary on why Barba chose the team via News Corp.
“I know he had other offers down south, but it would've involved him being away from the kids again.”
Since they were established, the Sarina Crocodiles have won seven A-grade premierships and ten reserve-grade premierships. Most recently, they are coming off a preliminary-final loss to the Mackay Brothers in the 2023 season.