Former NRL star Ben Barba makes French rugby debut for Toulon

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Ben Barba has made his French rugby union debut for Toulon, coming on late in the Top 14 club's loss to Brive on Sunday.

The former Cronulla fullback came on in the 76th minute, replacing Alesana Tuilagi on the wing in the 15-5 defeat.

Barba, who left Australia amid uncertainty over his NRL future after a second positive illicit drugs test, made two tackles in the match.

The 27-year-old was selected on Toulon's bench in the No.21 jersey following countryman James O'Connor's one-week suspension for alleged cocaine possession.

He joined former Wallaby and Toulon fullback Drew Mitchell on the field at Brive's Stade Amedee-Domenech, also playing alongside rugby superstars Ma'a Nonu and Bryan Habana.

Welcome @benny13arbz to the Rugby Family!!

A post shared by Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) on

Regular fullback Leigh Halfpenny missed the match due to international Six Nations duties with Wales.

Barba was initially expected to be forced to wait possibly until 2018 to make his Toulon debut given his limited experience in the 15-man game.

But his efforts at training have impressed coach Mike Ford.

After the match, it was all smiles as Barba posed with Mitchell for an Instagram post.

The result on Sunday leaves Toulon in fifth place on the Top 14 table.