Organisers of Brisbane's Global Tens have accepted Australian Rugby Union's tournament ban on controversial code hopper Ben Barba, saying it is "not a big deal".

Barba looked set to make a stunning rugby debut at next weekend's event for Toulon after signing a lucrative deal with the French giants and receiving an invitation from tens organisers Duco Events.

But the ARU said on Thursday it would prevent the move because of ex-Cronulla fullback Barba's NRL cocaine ban.

"We've got 300-plus players at this tournament so losing one that was never there in the first place is not a big deal," Duco Events co-owner Dean Lonergan said.


"We haven't really lost anything.

"Ben Barba would have been a curiosity factor.

"I was mildly looking forward to it but am I disappointed he is not going to be there? Not really."

Lonergan said he wasn't tempted to fight the ARU's decision.

"We would have loved to see him play but the ARU feel it is inappropriate and I accept that and fall into line with their wishes," he said.

"We would like to see him maybe in a year's time.

"From a promoters' perspective it would be fantastic to see him play but it is not to be."

The ARU has a long-standing reciprocal agreement with the NRL that they observe each other's drug sanctions.


"Australian Rugby's policy is to respect and recognise disciplinary action taken by other sports," said an ARU spokesman.

"Ben Barba was recently disciplined by both the National Rugby League and his club for illicit drugs offences.

"Given the serious nature of the misconduct and Australian Rugby's policy stance, it is inappropriate for Ben Barba to participate in the 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby 10s, which is an ARU-sanctioned event."

Barba was released from his NRL contract late last year after testing positive to cocaine four days after the Cronulla Sharks' premiership win.

He was suspended for 12 games under the NRL's anti-doping policy, a penalty which led him to sign with rugby union.