Marmin Barba reveals how relationship with brother Ben helped turn his life around

Marmin has endured more struggle than any person should have to in his 23 years.

Just six months ago he was considered a bust. A lost prodigy.

However, Marmin’s exceptional form for the Ipswich Jets this season has proven his dad Ken wasn’t mad when he said the family’s youngest son was more talented than Dally M Medal winner Ben.

Marmin Barba is in great form for the Ipswich Jets. Source: News Corp Australia

Marmin is enjoying a deserved star turn in the Intrust Super Cup with the Jets, who face Souths Logan at Davies Park.

After battling through Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer as a teen, Marmin was set for an NRL debut with Parramatta in 2012 until a knee reconstruction ruined the next 18 months of his career.

Late last season the lack of pay-off for his hard work became too much for the electric fullback.

Struggling to out run the forwards in his Tweed Heads team, Marmin decided he would quit rugby league at season’s end.

Then Ben signed with Brisbane and Marmin was also brought to Red Hill to ensure the Broncos star recruit had a strong-support network.

Ben Barba has struggled to find his best form since joining the Broncos. Source: Getty Images

In a rare interview, Marmin revealed how Ben helped turn his life around.

“There were a few times last year when I wanted to give up footy,” Marmin told The Sunday Mail.

“Having my girlfriend, Ben and my family behind me … that’s what kept me in the game.

“I have been through a lot. Cancer was a scare, then I did my knee but I got through them both.

“I’m lucky to have someone like my brother there for me. He’s helped me a lot.

“He makes me proud to be his younger brother and share the same last name.”

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Marmin is signed to the Broncos but has only played for the Jets this season and while he started the year with a high error-rate, his last month has been sensational.

An 80 metre solo try against Wynnum Manly recently mimicked Ben’s 2012 form for Canterbury, as Marmin used electric pace to leave cover-defenders for dead.

“He’s faster than Ben,” Jets co-coach Ben Walker said.

“Even the Ben of 2012, I reckon Marmin’s probably faster.

“My brother Chris was at Parramatta when Marmin was a teenager and Chris used to arrive for his game an hour early just so he could watch Marmin.

“He’s been brilliant for us this season.”

Ben Barba turns out to watch Marmin play. Source: News Limited

In late 2012, Ken said Marmin only needed an NRL chance to prove he was also a match-winning freak.

“If he got a go in the NRL, there is a very good chance he would be better than Ben,” Ken said.

“Marmin was always probably the most elusive of my boys.”

Marmin admits his performances for Tweed Heads last year were below his own standard and is not surprised people are stunned by his form surge.

“Confidence,” Marmin said when asked what had changed.

Marmin Barba during his time with Parramatta Eels. Source: News Limited

“Last year I struggled heaps with my confidence. Now I have it back and I have gotten physically stronger.

“My fitness has improved at the Broncos under Alex Corvo who is one of the best around.

“I love it at the Jets too.

“The Walker boys put me on the wing and let me do what I want and use my natural ability.

“Most teams … they didn’t let me do that.

“This is the year that has to count for me.

“I was kind of signed to the Broncos in support of my brother, to help keep him on his two feet.

“I think I have another year at the Broncos but this year I have to play well and we will see what happens.

“One day I hope to play beside Ben.”