Posted: 18 November, 2016
Barba's Apology To His Teammates
Ben Barba has apologised to his former Cronulla teammates over his cocaine use that led to him leaving the NRL premiers to undertake rehabilitation overseas.
Sharks winger Valentine Holmes, who's in England preparing for Australia's Four Nations final this weekend, said Cronulla players recently received a WhatsApp message from Barba.
"He said he is sorry. It's unfortunate what's happened," Holmes told News Corp Australia.
Barba was released by the Sharks this month to seek treatment for a range of issues in Thailand following his second positive test to cocaine in less than two years.
He failed the drug test four days after Cronulla's grand final victory over Melbourne last month.
The fallen Cronulla star hopes to tackle a range of personal issues as he battles to get his life and career back on track.
Should he return to the NRL, Barba will serve a mandatory 12-match suspension, but Holmes backed him to return to rugby league "bigger, stronger and better".
"We've all been supporting him. He is doing pretty well," Holmes said.
"All the boys in Sydney have gone to see him before he left."
"He is someone I looked up to and would like to inspire to play like. It was good having him at the club and to learn from him."
Kangaroos winger Holmes is set to benefit from Barba's absence with first crack at the vacant Sharks fullback spot next season.
But he has mixed feelings about taking up the role.
""It's unfortunate what's happened with Ben but I'm happy to step up and take that role if I get the opportunity," Holmes said.