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Haas says Suncorp is not so scary

Don’t be scared of Suncorp Stadium – that’s the message from Westpac NSW Blues forward Payne Haas to his Origin teammates as they head to Brisbane next week to keep alive the 2023 Ampol State of Origin series.

“It’s my home ground; it’s a great stadium; the fans bring a great atmosphere,” Haas said.

“Then again it is a pretty loud ‘boo’ when you come running out onto the field.

“I don’t hear it while I’m playing but when I come out it’s pretty crazy.”

Normally the Brisbane Broncos prop doesn’t experience that being one of the NRL club's favourite sons averaging 192 metres a game and busting out of tackles in nearly every run.

But for the three games he’s played at Suncorp Stadium – among his 10 in NSW Blues colours – he well remembers the crowd reaction.

“Some of us in this team know how hostile it is – they hate us. But it doesn’t matter because it’s pretty cool place to play at.”

Game Two on Wednesday 21 June will be the sixth time Haas has started for the Westpac NSW Blues.

His teammate up front will be Parramatta’s Junior Paulo – Haas’ fifth different prop partner.

“We’ve been in a few camps together so we’re pretty close,” Haas said of Paulo.

“He’s one of the best props in the game so that gives me lots of confidence. We’ll make it a good battle for Queensland.”

Paulo averages 149 metres per NRL game and is one of the kings of offloads with 19 so far in 2023.

“He’s got a great offload and he’s so tough. I love watching some of the things he can do, especially under fatigue. He just never stops,” Haas said.

Haas also has a sizeable fan club of his own with his post-contact metres and tackle-busts – 64 for the Broncos to date. He also has 29 offloads to his name.

That prompts the question, what does Haas eat for breakfast.

“Weet-Bix… always six in the bowl,” he said.

And his large motor he says comes from his father Gregor.

“He trained me pretty hard making run around the block at home over and over again, telling me I was going to be a big boy so I had to keep my fitness up.”

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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