Ben Barba before he was deregistered from the NRL.
Ben Barba before he was deregistered from the NRL. Emma Murray

Controversial NRL star receives celebrity welcome in Mackay

OUT on the town on Friday night, Mackay locals gave Ben Barba a celebrity welcome.

With fans keen to shake hands and snap selfies, the former NRL star appeared happy to oblige as he mixed it with party-goers at The Gallery.

Mr Barba, 29, has made headlines in recent weeks after being dropped from the NQ Cowboys and receiving a lifetime ban from the NRL.

 

Ben Barba at The Gallery in Mackay.
Ben Barba at The Gallery in Mackay.

Mr Barba's $300,000-a-year contract with the North Queensland Cowboys was torn up and he was deregistered by the NRL after CCTV footage taken at the Townsville Casino, on Australia Day, allegedly showed a violent outburst.

The controversial rugby league player would have made his debut with the Cowboys on Saturday in the NRL's opening round.

The 29-year-old is planning to appeal his NRL ban, which stemmed from an incident at the casino. He has since been charged with two counts of public nuisance.

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