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Ex-NRL star allegedly assaults brother-in-law

Fallen rugby league superstar Ben Barba will remain behind bars for a second night after an alleged violent assault against his brother-in-law.

Barba – who in 2012 was named the NRL’s best player – was arrested in Mackay on Wednesday and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The alleged victim is Adrian Currie, the brother of Barba’s partner Ainslie Currie.

Ben Barba’s NRL career began with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and also included stints with the Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Barba spent a night in custody and on Thursday morning appeared via video link in Mackay Magistrates Court.

The 32-year-old’s matter was adjourned to Friday, meaning another night in the lockup.

Two further charges will be presented when he appears for mention on Friday.

A conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm carries a maximum penalty of seven years jail.

Barba signed a $400,000-a-year contract with North Queensland Cowboys in 2019 but was sacked before playing a game. Picture: AAP Image

Barba’s illustrious – yet troubled – 10-year football career began with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2008 and later included stints with the Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks.

The fullback won the Dally M Medal as the game’s best player in 2012, scoring 22 tries in a season where the Bulldogs were beaten in the grand final by Melbourne.

He was punted by the Sharks in 2016 after testing positive to cocaine and played French rugby and league with English side St Helens while serving his ban.

He will remain behind bars for a second night after an alleged violent assault on his brother-in-law. Picture: Matthew Forrest

In 2019 Barba signed a $400,000-a-year contract with North Queensland Cowboys but was sacked before playing a game and banned from the NRL indefinitely.

The decision came after footage emerged of Barba in an alleged “physical altercation” with his partner Ms Currie. She declined to press charges.

In 2021 Barba lined up with Mackay side Carltons.

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