NRL: Barba's good friend 'had no idea' of player's troubles

Reynolds said the squad was shocked when they were informed Barba would miss the start of the season. Photo / Getty Images
Reynolds said the squad was shocked when they were informed Barba would miss the start of the season. Photo / Getty Images

Canterbury league five-eighth Josh Reynolds says he's shocked by the news of good friend Ben Barba's problems and had no idea he was concealing off-field troubles.

NRL superstar Barba was suspended indefinitely by the Bulldogs on Monday for breaching the club's code of conduct after admitting he was struggling to cope with personal issues. It's unknown when the brilliant 23-year-old will return.

Barba asked a member of the Bulldogs training staff during Saturday's trial match against Canberra in Goulburn to be taken off and 24 hours later pored his heart out to the chief executive Todd Greenberg and coach Des Hasler.

Reynolds, who played in the game against the Raiders, said he was unaware the Dally M Medallist had asked to leave the field, and was desperate to help his friend through his difficult situation.

"For me myself it's a hard time. Ben is one of my best mates," Reynolds said yesterday.

"I just want him to come out of it OK.

"He hid it pretty well. Now I just want to help him as much as I can."

Reynolds said the squad was shocked when they were informed Barba would miss the start of the season.

"Footy is nothing when it comes to stuff like this. We just want him to be sweet."

- AAP

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