Powerhouse NSW forward Payne Haas appears set for reduced minutes at the Broncos after revealing conversations with new coach Kevin Walters were already underway.
Haas played full games in eight of 20 NRL matches for the struggling Broncos this year to finish with an average of 72 minutes for the season – an eight-minute increase on his 2019 efforts.
The increase in workload didn't go unnoticed by former NSW captain Paul Gallen in August, who offered a warning to Haas and Broncos that the 20-year-old's career could be cut short by playing too many minutes.
A Broncos forward pack leader just 41 games into his NRL career, Haas acknowledged he couldn't continue to be used in the same light in 2021.
Match: Blues v Maroons
Game 1 -
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
"I've told Kevvie I don't want to play 80 minutes every game next year," Haas told NRL.com from NSW's training base in Wyong.
"I think it will be better, I want it to be about quality over quantity. I've learned that this year but we also had a few injuries too so that didn't make it easy.
"I definitely felt a bit drained towards the end of the year but I like to turn up for my mates and love competing so sometimes it gets the best of me and I tell our trainer to go away.
Walker: Origin demotion knocked my confidence
"If they want me out there playing 80 I'll do it but it's probably not ideal for a player of my age and in the position I play."
Haas took a week off once the Broncos' season came to an end but was told by Blues coach Brad Fittler he needed to stay fit ahead of the State of Origin series opener on November 4.
"My body was pretty battered so coming into Blues camp I've been able to refresh and prepare to do my best for the side," Haas said.
"It's easier coming in this time around, I'm a lot more comfortable. Last year I was a bit of a rookie not knowing how everything worked but now I know what to expect.
"I'm pretty pleased to be back here with this group of players."
Haas also spoke of the pain of losing his brother Chace ahead of a return to the Origin arena.
Chace lost his life in August after the ventilated quadriplegic's health deteriorated.
"He's there every day," Haas said.
Ultimate player: Brandy selects the perfect halfback
"It's hard because he was my best friend but that's life and you've got to just keep moving forward.
"I got to spend time with my family after and I was grateful the NRL allowed me to go outside the bubble and stay with them.
"I think everyone is starting to get a bit better in dealing with it which is good, but like any loss people have it's quite hard."