SAINTS’ star signing Ben Barba has spoken of his excitement ahead of making his debut against derby rivals Wigan.

The full-back joined Saints earlier but fans have had to wait for his long-awaited first appearance in the Red V after the club’s attempt to overturn his 12-match ban from the NRL failed.

He will be free to play in the home derby again against Wigan on Friday, September 1.

“I wanted to come to a successful club and Saints was one,” Barba told Rugby AM.

On the club’s prospects in the Super 8s, the Australian said: “One thing we speak about here at Saints is that there’s a long road ahead.

“Obviously the goal is to win trophies while I’m here but there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it before we get there.”

Asked about his excitement ahead of the Wigan clash, Barba added: “You hear the boys talk about it and guys that have experienced the local derby and it’s a good way to announce myself on the scene.

"It’s a game I’m really looking forward to, I can’t wait.”