Payne Haas will make his Kangaroos debut on Friday. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Payne Haas will make his Kangaroos debut on Friday. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Could Payne factor keep Fifita at Red Hill?

A busload of family members will travel to WIN Stadium to watch Payne Haas make his Australian Test debut as the Brisbane forward urges his club teammate David Fifita to remain with the Broncos.

Two weeks after playing in the Prime Minister's XIII in Fiji, Haas will line up for the Kangaroos against New Zealand on Friday night.

Haas, 19, said at least 40 people would make the seven-hour round trip to witness him fulfil a "dream" of playing in the green and gold.

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"My family is having a vacation in Newcastle back where we are from," Haas said.

"The whole family is there and all my siblings and extended family, about 30 to 40, have decided to come to the game. They are sorting out a bus to make sure everyone can make it.

"I'm still pinching myself. It's every kid's dream to play for Australia. I wouldn't be where I am today without them, so to run out in front of them in the green and gold jersey ... it's crazy when I think about it."

The self-confessed "footy nerd" said it had yet to sink in that he would be playing for his country alongside the likes of Josh Papalii and David Klemmer, who he watched growing up.

Payne Haas will make his Kangaroos debut on Friday. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Payne Haas will make his Kangaroos debut on Friday. Picture: Liam Kidston.

"I didn't have a favourite forward growing up because I loved watching all of them play and I'd take a bit from all of them. I'm a bit of a nerd like that," the Dally M Prop of the Year said.

"Papa [Papalii] had a massive year in the NRL and he's one of the best forwards in the game, so to play with him, David Klemmer, Jake Trbojevic and Boyd Cordner ... it's pretty cool for a young kid to run out with those guys against the Kiwis."

Fifita, also 19, will feature on Friday night but as captain of the Junior Kangaroos against France.

The boom forward is off contract with Brisbane at the end of next season but free to talk to rival clubs from November 1.

 

Payne Haas with the Rookie of the Year award. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Payne Haas with the Rookie of the Year award. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

Several of them are preparing lucrative deals to lure Fifita away from the Broncos and make him the NRL's next million-dollar baby.

Haas, who in June signed a six-year deal to remain at Brisbane, said he had spoken to Fifita about the tough decision he faced in the coming weeks.

"We all want him to stay but it is his decision,'' Haas said. "I'm really close mates with him. We had a chat and I've already told him, whatever decision he makes, I'll be happy for him and support him.

 

David Fifita and Payne Haas after Origin I. Picture: Adam Head
David Fifita and Payne Haas after Origin I. Picture: Adam Head

 

"Hopefully we keep him. If we don't, I know everyone will be pretty gutted but he has to do what is best for him and his family."

While Haas said losing one of the game's brightest prospects would be a huge blow for the rebuilding Broncos, he was confident Fifita would make the right decision.

"He has a pretty good head on him for a guy his age,'' Haas said. "He knows what he is doing and he'll keep a level head."

News Corp Australia


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