Ben Barba has pulled the trigger on an extended stay with Toulon.
Ben Barba has pulled the trigger on an extended stay with Toulon. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Barba set for Brisbane Tens with Toulon

RUGBY UNION: Ben Barba will make his rugby union debut for Toulon next week in the familiar surrounds of Suncorp Stadium.

Less than a day after his contract with the French mega-club was finalised, the Daily Telegraph understands Barba has been included in Toulon's squad for the Brisbane Tens.

He will link with his new teammates - including Wallabies stars Drew Mitchell and James O'Connor - when they fly into Australia next week. The Brisbane Tens will be played on at Suncorp Stadium, where Barba spent the 2014 NRL season with the Broncos.

With Toulon in the same pool as the Western Force, Barba is likely to go head-to-head with former Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona, who has switched to rugby this season and was named by the Force for the Tens.

He may also clash with Israel Folau, who will play for the Waratahs in the inaugural event.

The organisers of the Brisbane Tens, Duco, acted swiftly when news of Barba's code switch broke on Wednesday.

Though Toulon had already submitted their Tens squad, CEO Rachel Carroll said she extended the invitation for Dally M the medallist to be added.

"Following the breaking news of Ben Barba going to Toulon we overnight extended a formal invitation to Toulon to invite him to play as part of their squad in the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens next week,” Carroll told foxsports.com.au.

"The Brisbane Tens will be the first time Toulon has ever played in Australia, and the fast-paced 10 a side format would make for a brilliant transition for Ben Barba from NRL to rugby

"Whilst Ben Barba is not currently listed in the Toulon squad the door is certainly open for him and we think the fans would love it.”

If the former Shark plays, he will line up alongside Wallabies stars Drew Mitchell and James O'Connor, who are part of Toulon's touring squad and arrive next week.


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