Broncos' 118kg teen 'monster' excites NRL legends
BARELY 20 minutes of footy has all but convinced rugby league legends of Payne Haas's glittering future in the NRL.
In his debut match for Brisbane, he ran 86m and made 13 tackles in a brief burst on the field as Wayne Bennett's men ran over South Sydney 24-20 in round seven.
"You're seeing the birth of a superstar," Nine commentator Phil Gould said as Haas bludgeoned the Rabbitohs.
Standing at 194cm and weighing in at about 118kg, the 19-year-old wrecking ball stands taller and heavier than Dally M medallist Jason Taumalolo
Queensland legend and renowned NRL big man Petero Civoniceva heaped praise on Haas's s thunderous debut for the Broncos, saying the mobility displayed by the hulking teen was nothing short of phenomenal.
"I would have been around 105 or 106 kilos on debut but Payne is 118 kilos, so he is an amazing athlete for a kid,'' Civoniceva told NRL.com.
"We speak about the mobility of a guy like Jason Taumalolo for his size, but it is going to another level now with someone like Payne Haas.
"I heard stories in the pre-season about not just his size and but also his fitness levels, and for a guy carrying over 115 kilos that is just phenomenal.
"To play the way he did against a big South Sydney pack was tremendous and showed plenty of glimpses of the huge future that he has in front of him. His carries were amazing.''
NSW can rest easy after NSWRL boss Dave Trodden confirmed the explosive forward would be representing the Blues should he be picked for State of Origin.
Trodden's statement came after confusion over the Newcastle-born/Gold Coast-raised star's allegiance.
"Definitely NSW team. He was born in NSW, he captained our under-18 team last year in a great win against Queensland," Trodden said on Sky Sports Radio.
"His contractual election is to play for Australia, if that ever happens, rather than a heritage country. That definitely qualifies him to play for NSW.
"He's definitely in a place where he can play for the Broncos all he likes but when it comes to State of Origin time he'll be in a blue jersey."
Haas said he wanted to follow a similar path to Civoniceva, who played an integral role in Brisbane's success across 215 games on the front row for the Broncos.
"That is a huge compliment but there is only one Payne Haas and I am sure he is going to announce himself just like he did the other night and have a wonderful career,'' Civoniceva said.
"Wayne Bennett's decision to hold him back has worked out perfectly because I've seen some footage of him playing in the Intrust Super Cup, and he's dominated there.
"He's showed he's ready for an NRL opportunity now.''
Haas's manager, Chris Orr, answered questions over his client's free-agent status after suitors reportedly lined up in interest of the giant star's signature.
"As long as there is an appropriate deal there shouldn't be any reason for him to leave the Broncos," Orr told NRL.com.au.
Bennett said of Haas: "You've got to get your kids ready at some stage and start the process.
"Obviously Payne's going to be an NRL player for a long period of time. "It's just getting him into the game and how you do that and try and manage that. Because I don't want them to get ahead of themselves. At the same time I want him to be able to handle the situation as well.
"He's been in the state league for a while and he'll probably spend a few weeks on the interchange bench and maybe then we'll make another decision."
- with AAP