Former Wallaby warning for Toulon-bound Barba
RUGBY UNION: Former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles has warned that the highly pressurised Toulon rugby environment might not be the best fit for Ben Barba.
It was confirmed this morning the French glamour club had snapped up the trouble NRL star on a whopping A$2.5 million, two-and-a-half year deal.
Barba had been exiled by the NRL after testing positive for cocaine.
"There's a big risk there, you know," Hoiles said.
"You have got to look at a guy like Ben Barba's history and when he played at his best how stable he was back home.
"The owner for Toulon is a multi-millionaire who has made his money out of cartoon magazines. He literally pulled the pin on a holiday the players have - they're in Six Nations so they get time off.
"But they lost on the weekend and he said, no, you're all back training.
"It's such an emotional and irrational place to go and play rugby."
Toulon's squad also includes Fiji's Olympic gold medallist Josua Tuisova, Samoan wrecking ball Alesana Tuilagi and Japanese cult hero Ayumu Goromaru.
"Matt Giteau has had a great time over there, Drew has, Adam Ashley-Cooper loves it but you've got to be careful where you go.
"Benny Barba, to learn the trade in a new code, I don't think France is the place to do it.
"I reckon if he wants to learn rugby do it properly and go to New Zealand or Australia."