Barba’s Sharks deal to count in salary cap

Payments to Ben Barba under his short-lived one-year contract with Cronulla will reportedly put a dent in the NRL club’s salary cap.

That’s despite the NRL not registering the contract before Barba’s exit from the Sharks.

The NRL are forcing Cronulla to include up to $50,000 paid to Barba over the last month in their 2017 salary cap, according to Fairfax Media, but the league said the matter is yet to be determined.

“The NRL will determine whether any payments made to Ben during the current football year should be regarded as a termination payment,” an NRL spokesperson told AAP.

“If so, they would be included in the cap.”

Meanwhile, Barba has been farewelled by his former Sharks teammates as he heads to France to play rugby union with Toulon.

“This guy (Barba) was a massive part of our first ever premiership,” Sharks captain Paul Gallen said in Instagram.

“His talents will be missed but all the boys will miss the great fella we got to know. Good luck Benny.”

Barba, 27, was was hit with a 12-game NRL ban for a second positive illicit drugs test after last year’s grand final in October.

He was released from his contract with the Sharks to seek help for personal issues, but was re-signed on a one-year deal in January.

Barba last week expressed dismay about the NRL’s delay in accepting his playing contract with the Sharks.

He was unregistered by the league at the time he chose to sign with Toulon – a month after his contract had been submitted.

He said supporting his family was his main priority.

The premiership-winning fullback accepted a two-and-a-half year deal worth a reported $1 million a season with the Top 14 heavyweights.

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