Sport Rugby League Ben Barba to meet Bulldogs first up: report

Ben Barba to meet Bulldogs first up: report

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New Brisbane recruit Ben Barba is reportedly set to kick-start his Broncos career against Canterbury – the club he walked out on – in a mouth-watering opening to the 2014 NRL season.

According to a News Limited report, the Broncos will host the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on March 7 in the first Friday night game next season.

Barba, the 2012 Dally M medal winner, sought a release from the Bulldogs earlier this year, claiming he wanted to be closer to family.

The talented fullback endured a year to forget in 2013, with his life spiralling out of control following the breakdown in his relationship with Ainslie Currie, the mother of his two children.

He was suspended by the club for the opening three games of the season as he dealt with a series of personal issues.

With Currie returning to Brisbane, Barba said he too wanted to head north and was released by the Bulldogs to join the Broncos.

The Broncos-Bulldogs clash is expected to follow the season-opener a night earlier between premiers Sydney Roosters and bitter rivals South Sydney on March 6.

NRL officials would be hopeful of attracting a crowd in excess of 60,000 at ANZ Stadium by pitting the traditional rivals in the opening game of the season.

The NRL draw is not expected to be released for another two weeks.