NRL News | Brisbane ‘shocked’ by Payne Haas request for release, says Kevin Walters


Brisbane Broncos mainstay Payne Haas.

The Brisbane club have been “shocked” by Payne Haas’ request for an immediate release from the remaining two and a half seasons of his contract, according to manager Kevin Walters.

Contract talks between Haas and the Broncos broke down on Wednesday night, after which the 22-year-old’s management emailed the club asking for an immediate release.

Haas is under contract with Brisbane until the end of the 2024 season, a deal worth $750,000 for 2022, rising to $800,000 in 2023 and $850,000 in 2024.

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One of the best rowers in the game, Haas would feel he’s worth more than that. He would have requested $1 million for 2023 and 2024 and $1.2 million for 2025.

“His management asked for a release. They offered us Payne to stay, and we rejected that offer,” Walters told Radio Nova in Brisbane.

“We understand that Payne has been a great player for us, and we want to take care of him financially, but we just couldn’t get an agreement.

“Contracts are a matter of negotiation, and we are happy to negotiate.”

Brisbane Broncos mainstay Payne Haas. (Chloe Davis/NRL Imaging)

While Walters and the Broncos might be happy to negotiate, it appears Haas isn’t so enthusiastic.

“They sent an email back to (head of football) Ben Ikin saying if that’s not the case then Payne wants an immediate release, which really shocked us,” Walters explained.

“We are trying to work with his management to keep Payne at Red Hill.

“That’s the result we both want. I’m sure we can come to an agreement.”

Walters noted that Haas had been in the Brisbane system for nearly a decade and said the drama surrounding the first rower would not concern his teammates.

“We’ve supported him through good times and bad. It’s a two-way street. He’s always been a Bronco and we want him to stay that way,” he said.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters (Getty)

“The players treat rugby league like a business, they understand that at different times players are going to move on.

“This is the world they live in.”

Earlier this week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Haas, who took legal action against Chris Orr and Pacific Sports Management, is now facing a counterclaim in the NSW Supreme Court from his former manager, which is asking for more than $200,000.

It came after Haas reportedly refused to sign a new deal with the Broncos, brokered by Orr, worth $5.75 million.

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