Former Dally M winner Ben Barba is poised to join Cronulla as Wayne Bennett takes full control at the Brisbane Broncos.
Foundation Broncos coach Wayne Bennett is once again “stamping his authority” by allowing prize NRL signing Ben Barba to return to Sydney, according to Brisbane stalwart Sam Thaiday.
Barba is reportedly poised to defect to Cronulla after Bennett allowed the 2012 Dally M Medallist to negotiate with rival clubs along with fellow fullback Josh Hoffman.
The backline pair are also expected to be joined by maligned front-rower Martin Kennedy in a Red Hill exodus as Bennett returns to his former club, along with his long-time fullback Darius Boyd.
Ben Hannant has also moved to North Queensland since Anthony Griffin finished his four-season stint with Brisbane.
Thaiday is aware of the rumours and admitted he felt for his unwanted teammates.
“I think Wayne has come in and is really trying to stamp his authority,” former skipper Thaiday said.
“He has to have a squad which he can really work with in the future. It’s a tough old sport that we play and you can be on the wrong end of the stick sometimes.
“I hope they can still be a part of the Broncos … but if the boys leave it’s going to be tough for them and I’d wish them all the best.”
Although Barba made his name as a fullback for the Bulldogs, the Sharks see him as Todd Carney’s No.6 replacement after making an encouraging mid-season switch for the Broncos.
While feted as the signing of the year, Thaiday bluntly admitted Barba, who scored 23 tries in 24 games in 2012 before being released by Canterbury on compassionate grounds, didn’t deliver on the field.
“It kind of comes down to form,” the representative back-rower said. “He didn’t show the form that we probably wanted him to show as well.
“Wayne wants to have a squad that he’s selected so he can really do something in the future.”