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NSW prop Payne Haas.

It may be easier said than done following Reece Walsh's stunning Queensland call-up. 

But Payne Haas aims to ignore a potentially "toxic" environment at NRL club Brisbane in order to focus on State of Origin glory for NSW.

Bench forward Haas was understandably all smiles on Tuesday when he ran out for the Blues' training session at Kingscliff ahead of Sunday's Origin II clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The Blues camp at the NSW coastal town may be near the Queensland border but Haas looked like he felt a world away from the drama swirling around his beloved Broncos.

The knives are out for battling Brisbane coach Kevin Walters in his first year at the helm as the former glamour club tries to avoid a second straight wooden spoon following last round's 46-0 thrashing from South Sydney.

Amid reports of Broncos player unrest, Walters has copped fresh criticism after a player he released in April – 18-year-old Walsh – was named this week to make his Origin debut as Queensland fullback for game two.

Not considered ready for full-time Broncos duty by Walters, Walsh needed just seven NRL games for the Warriors to become the second youngest player ever to be picked for the Maroons.

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It was another poke in the eye for the once mighty club who also lost a bidding war to retain David Fifita last season and recently let Sydney Roosters young gun Sam Walker slip through their net.

Haas said the seemingly never-ending Broncos controversy was not a distraction for him as the Blues look to claim their first victory at Suncorp Stadium since 2017 and ice their third series triumph in four years.

But the NSW bench forward warned that dwelling on the players that got away would hinder any chance of the Broncos moving forward.

"As players we can't control what is going on with the player market," Haas told

"We can't keep doing this [dwelling on players the Broncos lose]. If we keep doing this it will be a toxic environment."

Instead of wondering what might have been, Haas welcomed former training buddy Walsh's meteoric Origin rise.

"He's a special player. You could tell when he started training with us," he said.

"It's great to see him play for Queensland at such a young age, it's pretty cool."

NSW captain James Tedesco wasn't so accommodating, saying he was trying not to get caught up in the pre-Origin II Walsh hype.

Asked if the Blues would target the youngster, Tedesco said: "No.

"It doesn't change much for us.

"There has been a lot of talk about him and the Queensland team but I told the boys we don't need to read into that. 

"It doesn't matter who is playing. [NSW No.7] Nathan [Cleary] will still kick to death any back three –  nothing changes for us."

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Asked if he thought Walsh reminded him of a "young Teddy", the Blues skipper laughed: "I wasn't playing Origin at 18 years old so he is doing better than me."

Meanwhile, Haas claimed he had avoided the media during the Broncos' downward spiral but one look at the Origin line-ups would have provided a not so subtle reminder of their dire plight.

For the first time in Origin history outside the Super League era, Brisbane does not boast a single player in the Queensland side.

Eight former Broncos feature in the Maroons outfit with Walsh front and centre.

"It is a bit crazy that I am the only Bronco [playing Origin]," Haas said.

"We are not going at our best at the moment but it is what it is.

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"I am not going to knock anyone. There are a lot of young boys up there at the moment.

"Once we learn how to play footy together we will get back to winning and getting more boys in Origin sides in the future."

Haas was surprised by reports of Broncos player unrest under Walters but said the imminent arrival of ex-Brisbane premiership winning playmaker Ben Ikin as their new head of football would only improve their club.

Asked about player unrest reports, Haas said: "I am not too sure what is going on, but as players we have to come in, train hard and play footy.

"[But] having someone like [Ikin] will develop a hard edge for us.

"I think he will be an asset at the club. He is a Broncos legend."

While Brisbane wins at Suncorp Stadium have been rare, Haas was looking forward to savouring victory at the Brisbane venue on Sunday for NSW.

"I can't explain it. I dreamt of this as a kid, to play for the Blues and win a series," he said.

"To do it at Suncorp would be pretty crazy because we know how hard it is to do – we will have to bring our A game."


Origin II in Brisbane is sold out but tickets are still on sale for game three at Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 14 - get your tickets at

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