New South Wales coach Brad Fittler admits the contract row between Payne Haas and the Brisbane Broncos is far from ideal with State of Origin fast approaching.
Fittler is set to name his 22-man Blues list for game one on Sunday night and Haas will be on it. However a row has blown up between the player and the Broncos and Fittler is concerned.
Haas is currently contracted with Brisbane until the end of the 2024 campaign. He re-signed a six-year deal with the NRL giants in 2018. However he has asked for an immediate release from it after the Broncos said no to giving him an upgrade.
Payne Haas going nowhere
The Broncos have also issued a statement saying that Haas is going nowhere.
“Payne Haas is contracted to the Brisbane Broncos until the end of the 2024 NRL Season. The club will not be entertaining a release,” part of the statement read.
The situation is a big concern for the Broncos. They have made an impressive start to the 2022 NRL campaign and sit fifth on the ladder. Such a situation could threaten to derail their season.
Fittler hopes it can be rectified as soon as possible. The Blues coach has his own concerns over the player’s mental state. Fittler has already been robbed of key players to injury.
The last thing he needs is Haas’ eye to be taken off the ball. The prop forward is expected to face the Titans this weekend and all eyes will be on his performance.
Brad Fittler concerns
“It’s not ideal at all,” Fittler told channel 9. “I know from Payne’s point of view and Brisbane’s, I’m sure they want to clear this up and get on with it as they’re having a fantastic season and this could hijack it.
“I spoke to Payne before and he said that he’s in a good mindset at the moment,” Fittler said. “His focus is the (game against the) Titans this weekend so at the moment I’m happy with that.”
Meanwhile Broncos captain Adam Reynolds has spoken to the player and is also happy with this state of mind going into the Titans clash.
“I’ve spoken to Payne and he’s assured us that he’s playing and he’s a professional and I know he’ll do his job,” Reynolds told Triple M. “But obviously it’s not the news you want to hear for someone who is an important part of your team, and fingers crossed that things get solved and that he’s at the Broncos for a very long time to come.”