He’ll be a Bronco for life: Coach Walters certain that Haas won’t move on

Kevin Walters has no issue with Payne Haas testing his value on the NRL market, adamant the star Brisbane prop will still choose to remain at Red Hill.

Jul 14, 2023, updated Jul 14, 2023
Payne Haas of the Broncos in action . (AAP Image/Darren England)

Payne Haas of the Broncos in action . (AAP Image/Darren England)

Haas’s protracted contract talks will drag on after the 23-year-old’s manager confirmed he would hit the open market on November 1.

It comes after Haas sought a release from the Broncos last season because the NSW prop could not see a competitive future at the club.

But Brisbane, who play Canterbury at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday, boast an NRL-best 12 wins from 17 games and are now a genuine shot at breaking a 17-year title drought.

Haas’s manager Ahmad Merhi told AAP that Brisbane were “ticking all the boxes” as every other NRL club had expressed a desire to negotiate with him, while he also fielded interest from European rugby and the NFL.

“We don’t normally like to talk about contracted players in that space but I’ll say this, I believe he’ll stay at the Broncos,” Walters said.

“You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that everyone would be interested in Payne.

“We’re comfortable with the position, what Payne’s doing.

“My thoughts personally are that Payne will be a Bronco for life.

“We’ve got a great environment here, Payne knows we want him to stay here and he’s aware that he loves being at the place.

“I’m sure between both parties we can get an agreement where we’re both happy.”

Haas and Brisbane’s Queensland State of Origin representatives won’t play against the Bulldogs, Walters opting to rest them as they plot their run into finals.

Fullback Reece Walsh remains suspended while winger Corey Oates will also miss up to six weeks as he is due to have knee surgery after a mid-week training incident.

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“We have a big six, eight weeks ahead of us and need to get that right,” Walters said of his call to rest his uninjured Origin stars.

“We need fresh players, fresh minds.”

Brisbane faded terribly last season to miss finals for a third-straight season but Walters thinks they can do more than just buck that trend.

“I believe that’s true,” he said when asked if they can win the competition.

“We’re in for a really strong finish; we haven’t played our best football yet. It’s in front of us and that excites me.

“I’ve just got great belief. We’re 20 weeks into the premiership, we’re sitting where we are.

“Are we comfortable with that? No. We want to keep going.

“I’m just so excited about the next six weeks. Origin’s out of the way. Queensland won, you beauty, now let’s go the Broncos.”

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