Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues prop Payne Haas has revealed the positive impact Adam Reynolds has already had on the Brisbane Broncos and how he could be the difference for getting the team back to playing finals football this season.
Reynolds joined the Broncos on a three-year deal after a long and decorated career with the South Sydney Rabbitohs which included a premiership in 2014 and five appearances for the Blues from 2016-17.
Haas, 22, who stands 194cm and weighs 117kg, has been a standout at Red Hill during the lean years and will be vying for his fourth State of Origin campaign with the Blues this season having made his debut in 2019.
He believes the addition of Reynolds to the roster will only be a good thing for his own game too, with the Broncos playing three trials before their Round One clash against Reynolds’ former club, South Sydney.
“For me I just want to keep progressing, keep trying to improve and finding ways to improve,” Haas told the Broncos website.
“It will be a big game and obviously the build-up is going to be pretty big with ‘Rens’ versing his old team.
“South Sydney were runners-up from last year so it’s a good game for us to start off the new year.
“Rens’ kicking game is key so they’re going to pressure him a lot. So, it’s up big boys to try to nullify that. He’s made a lot of difference.
“We just needed that guidance around the field, game management. You can see it in our training – it’s a bit better and clearer with all our calls.”
With the addition of front rower Ryan James, who was in Fittler’s 2018 Blues extended squad, and another prop in Rhys Kennedy from Moruya on the NSW south coast, Haas is among friends so to speak, at the Broncos.
Newcastle-born Haas hasn’t dropped the ball either being one of the real performers for Brisbane in what turned out to be a disappointing 2021 season - 14th.
He finished fourth in the NRL for post-contact metres (with 1,485) behind leader and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues winger Brian To’o (1,880).
Haas made 68 tackle-busts last year, averaged 15 hit-ups and 168 metres per game. Another good statistic for such a big man was his tackle efficiency rate of 97.5%, proving he’s a hard man to get around.
Haas nominated Ryan and 20-year-old Maori All Stars representative Teui Robati as the men putting pressure on established forwards in the Broncos pack for a starting spot.
“All the boys have trained hard this year so it’s good for Kevie to have that little (selection) headache,” Haas said of coach Kevin Walters.
“Ryan has come in this year and been training so well. He had a pretty good match in All Stars too.”