Infotainment Factory: How Burgess cost Rabbitohs future Origin star

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Thursday, 30 May 2019

How Burgess cost Rabbitohs future Origin star


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New South Wales Origin debutant Payne Haas has revealed that a broken promise from Sam Burgess cost the South Sydney Rabbitohs a chance at signing him.

It was three years ago that a 16-year-old Haas had flown from the Gold Coast down to Sydney with his father to meet with 12 clubs chasing his signature.

In a meeting with the Rabbitohs brass, including then-coach Michael Maguire and star Sam Burgess, Haas was left star-struck by the Englishman.

According to NRL.com, Burgess offered to come and watch Haas' play for Keebra Sports High in the GIO Cup final, all but sealing the signature of the teenager.

However, Burgess never showed, and with that went the chances of the Rabbitohs signing the teen phenom.

Sam Burgess

"Before the game I was looking around for him," Haas told NRL.com.

"But he didn’t come. I was a kid. It hurt me a bit. I used to love Souths. My dad’s a mad Souths fan. And Sam Burgess was someone I grew up idolising. It’s funny how things impact you when you’re young.

"I was pretty close to signing there. The only reason I didn’t go any further with it was because Sammy told me he was going to come to my game. But he brushed me so I was like ‘oh don’t worry then, I’m not coming to South Sydney’."

After ruling out the Rabbitohs, Haas' final decision came down to three clubs: the Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta Eels.

Payne Haas

That was before master coach Wayne Bennett got in the way of the Storm once again and lured the youngster to Brisbane.

"He said he was walking out the door to catch a plane down to Melbourne and do the deal, with his dad," Bennett said.

"I told him to come and see me. So he did. I couldn’t sell you a car, I couldn’t sell you much in life, but I can sell you on playing football and I can sell you on playing for the Broncos. I’m good at that."

Haas made his debut for the Broncos under Bennett's tutelage last season, but after featuring sparingly, the 19-year-old has gone to another level this year and the youngster will be hoping to add Origin glory to his list of accolades.

New South Wales Origin debutant Payne Haas has revealed that a broken promise from Sam Burgess cost the South Sydney Rabbitohs a chance at signing him.

It was three years ago that a 16-year-old Haas had flown from the Gold Coast down to Sydney with his father to meet with 12 clubs chasing his signature.

In a meeting with the Rabbitohs brass, including then-coach Michael Maguire and star Sam Burgess, Haas was left star-struck by the Englishman.

According to NRL.com, Burgess offered to come and watch Haas' play for Keebra Sports High in the GIO Cup final, all but sealing the signature of the teenager.

However, Burgess never showed, and with that went the chances of the Rabbitohs signing the teen phenom.

Sam Burgess

"Before the game I was looking around for him," Haas told NRL.com.

"But he didn’t come. I was a kid. It hurt me a bit. I used to love Souths. My dad’s a mad Souths fan. And Sam Burgess was someone I grew up idolising. It’s funny how things impact you when you’re young.

"I was pretty close to signing there. The only reason I didn’t go any further with it was because Sammy told me he was going to come to my game. But he brushed me so I was like ‘oh don’t worry then, I’m not coming to South Sydney’."

After ruling out the Rabbitohs, Haas' final decision came down to three clubs: the Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta Eels.

Payne Haas

That was before master coach Wayne Bennett got in the way of the Storm once again and lured the youngster to Brisbane.

"He said he was walking out the door to catch a plane down to Melbourne and do the deal, with his dad," Bennett said.

"I told him to come and see me. So he did. I couldn’t sell you a car, I couldn’t sell you much in life, but I can sell you on playing football and I can sell you on playing for the Broncos. I’m good at that."

Haas made his debut for the Broncos under Bennett's tutelage last season, but after featuring sparingly, the 19-year-old has gone to another level this year and the youngster will be hoping to add Origin glory to his list of accolades.

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