How a Thailand rehab facility taught Barba to ‘behave’
Ben Barba says he still stays in contact with the Thailand rehabilitation centre that helped turn around his life two years ago as he prepares to launch his NRL comeback.
Barba booked into the Australian-owned LANNA facility in Chiang Mai after his NRL career was in tatters following a second positive drug test recorded while celebrating Cronulla's 2016 premiership success.
The Dally M Medallist says he now sees the "light at the end of the tunnel" after snapping up a 2019 NRL lifeline offered by North Queensland following two years in the UK Super League.
But the 29-year-old said he still sought assistance from his Thai support crew who have also helped rehabilitate fellow NRL superstar James Roberts.
"I went overseas for a bit to Thailand to seek help and to get away from everything, to clear my head (in 2016)," Barba told NRL.com.
"They are wonderful those guys over there and I still keep in contact with the lady there, if I ever need help.
"I won't mention names but she is always someone I can lean on if I still need that help."
Asked what was the most important lesson he learned during his two year NRL exile, livewire fullback Barba said: "Behave.
"If anything it is to be grateful for everything that I have got.
"I am grateful to be back and I think I am a better person.
"I understand how good I had it the first time around.
"I finally got my chance to come back and I have to make the most of it now."
A veteran of 168 NRL games, Barba said running out for the Cowboys in round one in March would feel like making his debut again.
"It's been up and down my career so I have a good story to tell," Barba said.
"This is the light at the end of the tunnel now being here at the Cowboys.
"Hopefully I can finish my career the way I want it to."