Brisbane are keen to re-sign star Payne Haas on a long-term deal but are yet to formally table an offer to the NSW Origin representative.
Haas is contracted until the end of 2024 and the Broncos view him as the cornerstone to build their team around as they rebuild following last year’s disastrous first wooden spoon in club history.
They have shown signs of improvement under new coach Kevin Walters this season despite sitting in 14th place heading into the final two rounds and have strengthened their roster for 2022 with the addition of several players, highlighted by Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds and Penrith’s Maroons forward Kurt Capewell.
Brisbane on Thursday issued a statement to say reports suggesting “an extension to his existing contract has been finalised are incorrect”.
Haas on Wednesday night was asked about his contract situation during an interview with SportsDay but was not sure of the state of play.
Payne Haas should not be able to do this
“I’m not sure yet. There’s a lots of stuff behind the scenes with contracts and all that kind of stuff. I’m just going to play footy and let people outside work on that. I’ve got nothing yet.”
Haas is universally regarded as the best prop in the NRL despite being only 21 – he has represented NSW and Australia while making 59 appearances for Brisbane since his debut in 2018.
He was a runaway winner ahead of Penrith’s James Fisher-Harris for best prop in the NRL Fans’ Poll.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters said on TABradio on Thursday morning that Haas typified what the club was trying to achieve in resurrecting their glory days of perennial title contention.
“Just the way his preparation, his training, what you see in the games u see at training all the time,” he said.
“He is always at the front with the fitness, he is at the front in the gym, he is very strong. He is very consistent with everything that he does.
“The other thing is he is such a popular player among the guys. He is the first one at training and the last to leave.
“A great fella to have at the club for such a young age so a big future for Payne and we want to try to ensure that that future is here at the Broncos.”
Haas, who is viewed as a future captain at the Broncos, will start at prop in Saturday’s clash with Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium.