Article

Barba hopeful of Graham reunion at St Helens

20 June 2017 00:09

Ben Barba hopes to be reunited with James Graham at St Helens, though he remains unsure when his Super League debut will be.

Graham left Saints after five successive Grand Final defeats, heading to NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs, where he is now captain, for the 2012 season.

He played alongside Barba at the Bulldogs for two years and the Australian – who was let go by Toulon in a failed code switch earlier this year – hopes the pair can be reunited in the future.

"In 2012 we sort of spoke and joked about it that when he returned to England that I was going to come back and play at St Helens with him," Barba told Saints' official website after his first day of training with the team on Monday.

"But obviously I've beat him to the punch and hopefully I can lure him back here to finish off his career."

Barba signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Saints last month but is yet to make his debut as a 12-match suspension imposed by the NRL for testing positive for cocaine after Cronulla Sharks' Grand Final win last year continues to hang over him.

Saints chairman Eamonn McManus has confirmed they will appeal against the ban, with Barba trying to stay positive and get to work on the training pitch.

"I've still got to work hard," said Barba. "I've got a suspension at the moment that's hanging around and I'm not sure what's going on but all I can do is work hard on the training park with the boys.

"It's a club that really looks like they look after their players. It was an easy decision for me [to join]. Obviously I had either here or Warrington to go to.

"I got here on Saturday. I'm living not too far from here. I'm enjoying being over here finally and getting stuck in with the first day of training."

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