NEW signing Ben Barba has been registered with Saints and last Thursday’s game against Wigan will count towards his 12-match suspension.

His valuation on the salary cap begins from the date of registration.

Once Barba has tied up his loose ends he will join the club and, because it is not a UK anti-doping violation, he will be allowed to train with the club during the spell of his suspension.

He will also be allowed to participate in any promotional or community activities, during that time, should the club wish him to.

The current RFL stance is that they honour bans imposed from competitive bodies, but should Saints appeal, and that was considered viable, then that would go to an independent tribunal.

The 12-match ban was handed out after testing positive for cocaine in November at the end of Cronulla’s Premiership winning season.

The club are examining that ban and seeking further clarification.

Should there be no successful appeal, Barba would be pulling on the red vee by the end of August - and the excitement is already building with the full back considered the club's most exciting signing since Jamie Lyon.

Saints beat off competition from neighbours Warrington to secure the services of the 27-year-old.

Barba won the NRL Dally M award in 2012, a Grand Final with Sharks in 2016 and this year has been with French Rugby Union side Toulon.