Advice that propelled Haas into NRL’s elite
At age 19, Australia prop Payne Haas already understands what it takes to be the best thanks to his upbringing.
Crowned the prop of the year at the Dally M Awards earlier this month, the teenager has now played State of Origin and Test football after just 24 NRL games for Brisbane.
After his barnstorming Kangaroos debut in Wollongong on Friday night, Haas revealed the mindset he was raised with has helped him pursue goals many rugby league players take an entire career to achieve.
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"We were raised by mum and dad that if you do something, to be the best at it, he told AAP.... Even when we were younger they would say 'if you're working at Kmart, be the best worker there, if you're a police officer, be the best police officer'.
"I just want to be the best I can be."
Haas is one of the fittest players at the Broncos and has finished first in running time trials despite his 194cm and 119kg frame.
However, not even he could have predicted his meteoric rise through the rugby league ranks this season.
He was suspended for the first four rounds of the year by the NRL for not cooperating with an integrity unit investigation into an incident involving family members.
From then until Friday night against New Zealand, when he made 153 metres in 13 runs as Australia's youngest forward in 28 years, it's been a wild ride.
"I actually haven't had time to reflect on the year, it's been a rollercoaster," he said.
"When I was suspended all I wanted to do was play footy again, all I wanted to do was play NRL. It's been pretty crazy."
Haas is part of Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad to take on Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
Fellow NSW and Australia prop David Klemmer has said it's just the start of a huge career for his representative teammate.
"He's got a good head on his shoulders and he's doing great things... I'm just happy I got to play with him," Klemmer said.
"What Mal is doing with the culture is pretty special, he's making us believe in ourselves.
"That's something that Payne will have to carry on, he'll be playing for the next 10 to 15 years."