TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Sharks coach Shane Flanagan speaks at the post match media conference at the end of during the round one NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Cronulla Sharks at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has revealed the club is interested in bringing back former premiership fullback Ben Barba as a potential replacement for Toronto Woldpack-bound centre Ricky Leutele.

Barba is having a career year for St Helens in the Super League, but has signalled his desire to return to the NRL and he would undoubtedly be welcomed back by the Sharks.

Leutele will be at Toronto next season and centre Jesse Ramien is off to Newcastle, meaning Josh Dugan nay move to the centres to accommodate for Barba.

"Benny is a premiership winning player for this club, he has got a young family and if he wanted to come back to Australia we would look at it," Flanagan told reporters after the club's win over Canterbury.

"We've lost Ricky Leutele to the Toronto Wolfpack next season and Jesse is off to Newcastle. Duges is quite happy to play in the centres. At the moment, he is playing fullback so we will weigh all those things up in due time."

Barba has previous stints in the NRL with Canterbury, where he won the 2012 Dally M Medal, and Brisbane, before joining the Sharks in 2015, where he won a premiership with the club in 2016.

The 28-year old left Cronulla after testing positive to cocaine during their grand final celebrations, switching codes to sign with ruby union's Toulon in 2017. He was sacked by the club after four games and joined St Helens.

"We love Benny," Flanagan told NRL.com.au.

"He made a bad decision [but] he is a premiership winning player here and it is our only premiership so we treat all those players who were at the club in 2016, whether they played in the grand final or not, in high regard."

Sharks prop Andrew Fifita said Barba would be welcomed back by his ex-teammates.

"I love Benny, he is a big part of why we won in 2016 and I guess you could say why we were history makers," Fifita also told the NRL website.

"He is a game breaker and he is killing it in England. I still stay in contact with him and I would love to see him back here."

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