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Super League won't offer Simona a lifeline

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/03/2017 Ian McCullough

Tim Simona of the Tigers © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Tim Simona of the Tigers The Rugby Football League has closed the door on any possible chance of Tim Simona salvaging his career in England.

The New Zealand-born Wests Tigers centre has been suspended indefinitely after the NRL issued a notice to cancel his registration following allegations he had placed bets on matches involving his team.

The 24-year-old is accused of placing more than 60 wagers last year and, if found guilty, is expected to avoid a life ban and slugged with a four-year suspension when a final decision is announced by the NRL integrity unit later this week or early next week.

There has been speculation Simona may be allowed to play in the Super League where Todd Carney was handed a lifeline after he was sacked by Cronulla in 2014 following his infamous bubbler incident and deregistered by the NRL.

However, an RFL official said no team would be permitted to sign a player serving a NRL ban and Simona's case is very different to that of Carney.

"Todd was never actually banned by the NRL," a RFL source told AAP.

"He was deregistered and they (the NRL) just wanted him out but there was no actual ban put in place to prevent him playing.

"But if a player is suspended or banned by the NRL, that would carry on into Super League."

That news would also scupper any potential chance of Ben Barba avoiding his 12-match suspension should his move to French rugby with Toulon fail to work out and he targets a return to league.

Barba, who tested positive for cocaine after failing a drugs test in the wake of Cronulla's grand final celebrations last year, jetted out for France last month where his suspension was overlooked to allow him to play in the Top 14 competition.

"It's a hypothetical situation as he is playing rugby, but he wouldn't be able to sign for any Super League team while he was under a ban," the source said.

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