Broncos come down hard: rookie’s fine doubled
BRISBANE young gun Payne Haas's refusal to co-operate with the NRL Integrity Unit will cost him a month of rugby league and a huge fine, as Broncos boss Paul White looks to lay down the law to players in the post-Wayne Bennett era.
Haas has been fined $20,000 and suspended by the club for the opening four rounds of the NRL premiership.
As revealed by The Courier-Mail, Haas was handed a club-imposed sanction for failing to comply with an NRL Integrity Unit investigation following two off-field incidents last year involving his family.
Haas played for the Broncos in a trial against Souths Logan at Warwick last Saturday night.
However, in a major blow for the Brisbane young gun, he will miss the opening month of the premiership .
The 19-year-old had been was in line to be named on Brisbane's interchange bench. Instead he will miss premiership games against Melbourne, the Cowboys, the Dragons and defending premiers the Roosters.
Brisbane chief executive Paul White said the off-field matters were private and the club had committed upon the request of all parties that they remained confidential.
White said there was no allegation of violence committed by Haas, nor any breach of the law involving the player.
"But Payne's level of co-operation with the investigation by the NRL Integrity Unit fell short of the expectations and the standards set by our club," White said.
"We have a duty to protect the reputation of our club and our game - and we have a duty to our players - which requires us to hold them accountable for their decisions, and we are doing that today.
"Payne will miss the opening rounds of the competition and that is a heavy price to pay, as well as receiving a substantial fine.
"But we see this as a mistake made by young man and we are confident that Payne will learn his lesson.
"We hope this sends a strong message that the values and conduct of everyone at the Brisbane Broncos is of the utmost importance to club."
White said the penalties, and the club's level of co-operation, had been endorsed by the NRL Integrity Unit.
Just last week, Haas told The Courier-Mail he couldn't wait for the 2019 NRL season after a five-month rehabilitation following a shoulder reconstruction.
"It was really good, it's a relief to be back," Haas said after his barnstorming trial performance in Brisbane's 42-0 defeat of Souths Logan at Warwick.
"It was a good all-round performance, all the boys stuck together and did their jobs.
"It felt good to again to knock out some minutes, it was good for my match fitness."
Haas said he was expecting some heavy treatment from NRL rivals this season.
"I'm ready for it," he said.
"Last year I found out the hard way as a young guy, but that's all part of the experience and my learning as a young forward.
"But this year, I'm older and a little more mature. I am ready to go, I can't wait for the battles. Hopefully I'm in the team for round one."