Haas brothers to face off in NRL trial

Troy Whittaker |

Brisbane’s trial against Gold Coast will be a brotherly affair as Payne and Klese Haas lock horns in a hit-out also featuring the relatives of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and David Fifita.

Representative prop Payne Haas, 22, will line up alongside Broncos recruits Kurt Capewell, Ryan James, Brenko Lee and Billy Walters at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night.

Klese Haas, a 19-year-old back-rower who followed his brother in graduating from famed rugby league nursery Keebra Park, will push his claims for an NRL development contract.

Currently on a train-and-trial deal, Klese is signed to the Titans until the end of next year and has set his sights on earning a first-grade debut.

“It’s always good watching brothers go at it, a bit of brotherly love, but I’m backing our Haas,” Gold Coast front-rower Herman Ese’ese said.

Titans second-rower Fifita, meanwhile, has been cleared of any lasting damage after copping a rib cartilage injury playing for the Indigenous All Stars last weekend but will be rested for the trial.

And while new Gold Coast captain Fa’asuamaleaui will also be sidelined with a lingering knee issue, his brother Iszac will take the field for the club alongside Fifita’s second cousin Jojo.

The 19-year-old Jojo Fifita, once an in-demand schoolboy rugby talent, is a speedy outside back. The younger Fa’asuamaleaui is a powerful middle forward.

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters has opted not to risk playing marquee signing Adam Reynolds, keeping the halfback on ice ahead of another pre-season match against North Queensland.

Elsewhere, Penrith have decided against giving any of their premiership-winning heroes a run in their clash with Cronulla at CommBank Stadium on Sunday.

Sean O’Sullivan, who has returned to the foot of the mountains from the Warriors as a back-up playmaker to Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai, will start in the halves.

Other players with NRL experience named in the squad include fullback Charlie Staines, hooker Mitch Kenny, utility Jaeman Salmon, prop Matt Eisenhuth and lock J’maine Hopgood.

The Sharks will field a young team headlined by halfback Braydon Trindall, who is pushing to partner Nicho Hynes in round one, and New Zealand prop Braden Hamlin-Uele.

Kade Dykes, the son of former Parramatta and Cronulla five-eighth Adam, has been selected at fullback while NRL forwards Royce Hunt and Teig Wilton are also set to play.