There is only one Payne Haas but the 19-year-old Bronco prop has revealed how advice from league legends Ruben Wiki and Sonny Bill Williams has helped forge his powerhouse ways.
Haas notched his third 200-plus running metre tally in the past eight games in the 28-6 win over Canterbury in a typically wrecking ball performance that would have done Wiki and Williams proud.
Signed to Brisbane until the end of 2024, the former Keebra Park High School student spent a season with the Warriors when he was a teenager where he sought out Wiki, then working as a trainer, for advice and guidance.
Haas had watched videos with his father Gregor of Wiki in action at Canberra where he won the 1994 title as a centre before transforming himself into a rampaging forward for the Raiders and Warriors known for his total commitment to fitness.
"Yeah I got to meet Ruben Wiki. He is a good dude. He is a mad dude. He trains hard and stays in shape," Haas said of Wiki, who has also had success as a bodybuilder post-retirement.
"I used to talk to him a lot and pick his brain. He was one of the best forwards so I wanted to learn stuff from him. I learnt about work ethic from him and staying consistent. I knew who he was from his Canberra days and his runs from the kick-off were legendary."
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Haas put that into operation against Canterbury where his first run with the ball almost split the defence in two.
He has spoken this year about how gaining a mental edge has also been a key element in his progress.
After converting to Islam he fasted during the holy month of Ramadan, which coincided with his first State of Origin camp with NSW. Haas turned to dual-international Williams, also a Muslim, for advice to get through the month of self-denial.
"It was pretty good for me, I lost a bit of weight out of it. It was good for me mentally and for my faith," Haas said.
"I was really blessed to get through that. Sonny Bill spoke to me about getting through games and he gave me advice on how to get through the weeks. I will keep the stuff between me and Sonny, but he was a tremendous help for me."
Haas is happy to seek advice from players he trusts and admires and also has a keen interest in the history of the game and forwards in particular that he holds in high esteem.
"I watched everyone coming up. Dad would make me watch the old front-rowers like Glenn Lazarus, even Arthur Beetson, I used to watch games of his. I am trying to take everyone's games bit by bit and try and put it into my own game," he said.
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That quest for self-improvement is driven by a determination to repay the faith the Broncos showed by signing Haas on a long-term deal last year when he was being chased by most of the clubs in the NRL. Haas does not regret leaving the Warriors but does value his experience there for 12 months.
"They were really good to me but it was too far in the end and I wanted to be closer to home. I'm glad I came to the Broncos.
"I copped a bit last year, some people say I didn't deserve that [six-year] deal but I'm not playing for other people. I'm here to pay back the Broncos for their faith and I will keep improving and give the Broncos fans everything they deserve.
"Wayne [Bennett] was a huge factor. I had an easy pathway at other clubs but Wayne set me a big challenge, I had to earn my stripes and go through the pre-season in the under 20s and I like being challenged. I took that challenge on and it has done wonders for me."
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Haas deflected credit to his teammates for his own destructive performance against Canterbury in what was a co-ordinated attack by the pack.
"They make it easier for me, I am playing with a star-studded forward pack and guys like Lodgey, Tevita and David Fifita make it easier for me to succeed," he said.
"Our aim every week as a forward pack is to put it over other forward packs.
"We speak about overlapping efforts each week. That was our main focus this week and we did that. We kept competing for each other. It makes it easier hunting as a pack. If we dig in for each other, we have the right team to do the job. If we keep working together we can go a long way."