A final, dark chapter is being added to the game's original home, writes Roy Masters.
Richie Fa'aoso has been granted a conditional medical clearance which will allow the Manly forward to resume training next week.
The NRL season will open with three blockbusters, highlighted by Barba's clash against former club.
The Kangaroos have touched down on home soil feeling proud but also fatigued after an arduous World Cup campaign tagged on the back of a long NRL season.
Players face the prospect of missing the opening rounds of the NRL season if they are put on report for "serious misconduct" during the Auckland Nines tournament in February.
Manly will meet with the NRL on Wednesday morning to discuss a groundbreaking game in China.
The NRL will experiment with golden try as part of several rule changes for the Auckland Nines.
Sheens is a likely target for Cronulla if coach Shane Flanagan receives a similar ban to the one imposed on James Hird.
Decision to ignore calls for stand-alone Origin matches is disappointing: former medical officer.
A company part-owned by the AFL is poised to take over as statistics provider for the NRL website in a move that will result in rugby league lining the pockets of its greatest rival.
WORLD: People around the world have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who has died, aged 95.