CONTRACT TORN UP: Ben Barba has been sacked by the North Queensland Cowboys after an alleged domestic violence incident.
CONTRACT TORN UP: Ben Barba has been sacked by the North Queensland Cowboys after an alleged domestic violence incident. Emma Murray

BAD BOYS XIII: The damning numbers behind summer of hell

IT'S been a summer of disaster for the National Rugby League with the code's PR team kicking into overdrive like never before to salvage the image of the game.

The off-season has leapt from scandal to scandal, each one tarnishing 'the greatest game of all'.

CEO Todd Greenberg came out and vented his disgust, disappointment and embarrassment on Saturday.

His appearance followed news of the North Queensland Cowboys tearing up Ben Barba's contract for allegedly attacking his partner at a Townsville Casino.

"We have run out of patience and tolerance for misbehaviour off the field. I'll repeat again that violence against women is at the very top of that list,” Greenberg told media.

"I issue this warning to players again. The game has changed and community expectations are clear. We won't tolerate misbehaviour and the sanctions will be strong, especially for violence against women. We had a brilliant 2018 on the field, but quite frankly the off-season has been a complete train wreck.

"We must protect the game.”

Barba's indiscretion was just the latest in a long list of sorry and unforgivable off-field incidents over the past few months.

Greg Inglis fronts the media to apologise for drink-driving.
Greg Inglis fronts the media to apologise for drink-driving. Joel Carrett

When you take a look at the names and faces involved in the misbehaviour, you realise these players should know better. All players should.

If you select a team of the 13 most high-profile players who have been in the news for the wrong reasons since the conclusion of the 2018 season, they'd probably win the premiership.

It's damning reading for the NRL.

Between them they have 1,458 games, with five of them having played State of Origin and eight of them having played international football.

Four of them have won a premiership, six of them have played for the Prime Minister's XIII and four of them have played in the All Stars game.

Below is the team from the NRL's shameful summer:

Fullback - Ben Barba: Allegedly attacked his partner at a Townsville Casino on the Australia Day weekend.

Wing - Tautau Moga: Allegedly slapped a taxi driver twice in the head on Boxing Day in Newcastle and was subsequently charged by police on January 9. He'll face court on March 21.

Centre - Jarryd Hayne: Allegedly bit a woman in the genital region after a night out and was subsequently charged with aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm. Hayne has plead not guilty. He'll next appear in court on February 13.

Centre - Dylan Walker: Police are charging him with assault, despite his partner withdrawing the allegations she initially made to authorities. His next court appearance is February 26.

Wing - Michael Chee-Kam: Allegedly assaulted an Uber driver on a night out with a friend on December 30 in Bondi. He's due to appear in court on February 5.

Five-eighth - Greg Inglis: Pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge after he blew over the legal limit when returning from an indigenous knockout tournament in Dubbo on October 1.

Halfback - Corey Norman: Video surfaced of the playmaker and Wallabies star Kurtley Beale laughing at a third man sniffing white powder.

Prop - Jacob Saifiti: Fined $50,000 by the Newcastle Knights after breaking his leg in an altercation at a hotel in early December. Captain Mitchell Pearce supported the fine.

Hooker - Jaeman Salmon: Convicted of low-range drink driving following a horror car crash last October. Salmon was fined $1500 and disqualified from driving for six months when he fronted Sutherland Local Court on January 17.

Prop - Dylan Napa: Footage leaked allegedly involving Napa in a sexual act. Greenberg said he was 'gobsmacked by his stupidity'.

Second row - Adam Elliott: Pleaded guilty with teammate Asipeli Fine to wilful and obscene exposure after the Bulldogs mad Monday celebrations got out of hand. The NRL fined the Bulldogs $125,000 for the incident.

Second row - Zane Musgrave: Faced allegations of domestic violence which stemmed back to July last year.

Lock - Jack De Belin: Charged with aggravated sexual assault after an alleged incident involving a 19-year-old woman and another male in Wollongong. He will appear in Wollongong Local Court on February 19.