Ben Barba.
Ben Barba. GETTY IMAGES

Barba not given chance to play against Broncos

BULLDOGS captain Michael Ennis played down talk his teammates are at loggerheads with troubled fullback Ben Barba, with last year's Dally M medallist given little chance by his club to play against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

Officials at the club did not clear him on his injured ankle, which he sustained six weeks ago against Parramatta, in what was supposed to be Barba's tune-up before the finals.

Barba will join the Broncos next season, but he is currently the subject of fierce speculation, after a photo emerged of his ex-partner allegedly nursing a facial wound from the star player this week.

"He's trained in the rehab group with a really good attitude," Ennis said.

"There's certainly no issue with Ben and any of the players."

Ennis said he has been happy with how Josh Morris has performed at fullback, and Tim Lafai in the centres, in Barba's absence.

But he did say Barba could still play a major role in the finals, despite the bad publicity swirling around him, if he gets back to full fitness.

"Ben's a terrific player. When his body's right, he'll certainly play a big part in our side," Ennis said.

Ennis said it was imperative his team put in a good performance against Brisbane on the eve of the finals.


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