Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga says he believes the loss of Michael Ennis and Ben Barba will be major hurdles to Cronullas ability to defend their NRL premiership title.

Ennis retired after the Sharks broke their longstanding premiership and Barba is now training with European rugby club Toulon after the NRL banned him for 12 matches for a positive drug test.

Winning back to back premierships is considered almost impossible in the modern era and Meninga (pictured) says with two of the sides most potent forces gone, the club will struggle if they don’t start the season on a winning note.