The stat that explains Freddy’s gamble on young gun Haas
WITH just 10 NRL games to his name, Payne Haas will usurp Blues coach Brad Fittler as the most inexperienced first-grade star to be selected for NSW.
Fittler previously held the record for the Blues, having played only 12 games for Penrith before being thrown into the Origin cauldron back in 1989.
And champion NSW enforcer Steve Roach has backed Haas as the type of front-row forward who could play State of Origin for the next 10 seasons.
"This bloke is the most inexperienced NSW player ever and he's playing in the toughest position," Roach said.
"Wow. When Freddy was the young gun he had his footwork and his fend out in the centres. He had the tools to be evasive at times.
"Payne Haas is going to be rumbling in the toughest part of the field but from everything we've seen so far, he'll handle it.
"This bloke could play Origin for the next 10 years. Think about it, he's only 19.
"What really impresses me is his post-contact metres and he's got a great engine for a big man.
"He doesn't strike me as the sort of bloke who's going to be phased by anything either. If there's any niggle, it won't worry him.
"I reckon he'll probably go better.
"The other thing I like is he's very respectful. I met him earlier and he shook my hand and looked me in the eye."
Blues coach Fittler has opted to room Haas with seasoned NSW enforcer David Klemmer as the young gun forward adjusts to life in State of Origin camp.
Klemmer, who is preparing to play his fifth consecutive Origin series, backed Haas to have the temperament to handle playing front row in Origin.
"He's a big boy, I know that much. I'm excited about getting the opportunity to play alongside him," Klemmer said.
"We haven't talked too much footy yet but when we do I'll just tell him to enjoy the week."