Broncos great Steve Renouf believes Ben Barba will flourish under Wayne Bennett if he decides to stay at the NRL club.
Some Wayne Bennett tough love may be just what Ben Barba needs to reignite his NRL career, Broncos great Steve Renouf says.
Bennett has already begun his player cleanout since resuming the Broncos reins.
Ben Hannant has linked with North Queensland, fellow forward Martin Kennedy is believed to be talking to four clubs and Kiwi fullback Josh Hoffman has been told he can speak with rivals.
And there is not expected to be much room left for Barba in the Brisbane backline next year with Anthony Milford arriving from Canberra and Darius Boyd expected to return.
But Renouf hopes speculation linking Barba with a move to Cronulla does not prove true, saying the once high-flying fullback should savour the Bennett experience – no matter how hard it is.
“I would love to see him stay,” Renouf told AAP.
“I would like to see him play a year under Wayne.
“I reckon Wayne can get the best out of him.
“It’s the best thing for that group of players – they won’t know what hit them.”
Despite denials from his management, negotiations have reportedly begun, with Cronulla hoping to sign Barba as a replacement for disgraced pivot Todd Carney.
Barba has not hit many highs this year since his much anticipated move from the Bulldogs to the Broncos on compassionate grounds.
But Renouf believed Barba would flourish anywhere in the backline under Bennett.
“I don’t know what is happening there with Darius Boyd coming but I would like Ben to stay around and get a crack on the wing,” Renouf said.
“I still think he has a lot to offer.”
Renouf had no problem with his former mentor Bennett stamping his authority from the outset.
“Wayne makes the hard calls, that is why he is such a good coach – he is not afraid of doing it,” he said.
“I think it is great. I was a big advocate of bringing Wayne back here.
“From a sponsorship point of view and culture point of view it’s great he is back.
“He will rebuild the club whether people like it or not.”