Baby Bronco’s stunning surge to Origin history

For all of Brisbane's multitude of Origin legends, no Broncos forward has worn a NSW or Queensland jumper at such a young age. 

Brisbane bookend Haas will tonight be handed his maiden NSW jumper after just 10 NRL games and will be just 19 years and 185 days when he runs out for the Blues in Origin I at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week.

For all of Brisbane's multitude of Origin legends, no Broncos forward has worn a NSW or Queensland jumper at such a young age. Not Shane Webcke. Not Petero Civoniceva, Andrew Gee, Glenn Lazarus or even former Maroons skipper Gorden Tallis.

It is stunning recognition of Haas' talent - and the ultimate redemption story after the hulking prop missed the opening month of the season after being banned by the Broncos for failing to fully comply with an NRL integrity unit probe.

But the dark days are over for Haas, who will be blooded off the Blues' interchange bench at his Suncorp home ground after producing six consecutive barnstorming appearances for the Broncos.

 

Payne Haas has stormed into the NSW team on the back of his barnstorming Broncos form. Picture: Getty Images
Payne Haas has stormed into the NSW team on the back of his barnstorming Broncos form. Picture: Getty Images

 

Haas has charged for a staggering 1219 metres this year at an average of 174m per game and sealed his NSW debut with a 204m demolition job that inspired Brisbane's 8-2 defeat of the Warriors on Saturday night.

While he is a baby in age, he is a giant in the flesh. At 194cm and 118kg, Haas is already Brisbane's biggest player, giving NSW coach Brad Fittler no concerns the towering bookend can withstand a Maroons barrage in the series opener.

Haas' Broncos teammate, 18-game Queensland veteran Matt Gillett, knows an Origin player when he sees one and is adamant the supremely-fit front-rower is up to the task.

"Payne is an athletic freak," Gillett said.

"He's only young but he has the talent and the attitude to succeed in Origin.

"Even the other night (against the Warriors in Auckland), we were all blowing and he was barely puffing.

"He is amazing. He won't let NSW down."



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