Brisbane Broncos prop Payne Haas has revealed that he is seeking guidance from mentor Sonny Bill Williams as he faces a crucial decision regarding his future. As he prepares to play his 100th game for the Broncos, the 23-year-old is currently off contract at the end of 2024 in Brisbane. Haas’s manager, Ahmad Merhi, stated last month that the player would carefully consider all options before making any commitments. Merhi also mentioned that the Broncos were meeting all the necessary criteria, both on and off the field, to fulfill Haas’s desire to join a consistently competitive team. Despite that, Merhi confirmed that conversations with other clubs were also ongoing.
Merhi stated, “I have a wonderful relationship with Kevvie (Walters). We have always been hopeful of a good outcome with the Broncos and we are still in dialogue.” It should be noted that all 16 other clubs have expressed interest in meeting with Haas, including coach Craig Bellamy from .
Haas finds solace in Williams, who shares the same Muslim faith and has faced tough decisions in his own playing career across two codes. Williams always took his time in making choices that he felt would best impact his future. Haas expressed his gratitude towards Williams, stating, “Sonny is real good. He always reaches out to me. Obviously, I’m going through some stuff, and he has always made sure I am all good and given me some advice. He is pretty special to me Sonny. We are pretty close. He is good to have around me.”
In his first media appearance since his manager announced his availability in the market, Haas remained non-committal when asked about his future on Tuesday. He intends to wait until at least November 1 before making any decisions. However, Haas emphasised his positive relationship with Broncos coach Kevin Walters and stated that both parties are aware of each other’s desires and goals. Haas didn’t provide further details and instead chose to focus on the upcoming game and his milestone of playing 100 games for the Broncos.
Haas remains motivated by the desire to win premierships, and he believes the second-placed Broncos, with a formidable pack that includes his close friends Pat Carrigan and Thomas Flegler, are genuine contenders this year. According to Haas, it is the best pack he has played alongside, and their camaraderie off the field translates to success on the field.
“We all came up together … me, Fleg, Patty, and we are all pretty close off the field as well. That mateship shows with our footy. It is pretty special here and something you don’t want to lose. We can do something pretty special. Having this kind of forward pack is pretty cool. You want to win premierships. You don’t want to be out of finals,” Haas explained.
Haas remains unfazed by the speculation surrounding his future, stating that he feels comfortable and supported by his teammates and coaches. He remains dedicated to training and focusing on his love for the game, leaving the other aspects to the people he trusts.