The Bulldogs’ Ben Barba has been dazzling from fullback this year, and his jaw-dropping footwork has been aided by his boots, choosing to wear Nike Mercurial Vapor VIIIs as the NRL nears the business end of the season.
The 23 year old Barba, a product of the Bulldogs system and a member of their feeder side, the Bankstown City Bulls, which won the New South Wales Cup, made his NRL debut in 2008, but his real break-out season came in 2011, when he scored 23 tries for the Dogs and earned selection in Queensland’s wider training group ahead of State of Origin.
The Mercurial Vapor VIII is part of Nike’s Clash colour range, which was introduced in time for the 2012 Euro Football competition. Built for explosive speed, (of which Barba has an abundance), the Vapor VIII is incredibly light, with a glass-fibre chassis designed to maximise power and explosive acceleration. The ultra-thin synthetic leather moulds to the foot like a second skin and an innovative, breathable inner sole enhances comfort.
Barba has been on scintillating form in 2012, with his devastating counter-attacks from the back a huge contributing factor in the Bulldogs success. While Barba is yet to make the field in Origin, his form, if it continues as it has been, will demand representative selection in 2013, while his ability to break open defences and change a game in a split second will be cherished by Des Hasler and the powers-that-be at the Bulldogs.