Payne Haas' fiancee lifts the lid on NSW State of Origin star's incredible act for family

The Blues and Broncos player has been dealing with a difficult situation off the field.

Payne Haas' fiancee has broken down in tears while opening up about the difficult family situation the NRL star has been dealing with. Haas will run out for NSW in State of Origin 2 on Wednesday night at the MCG, hoping to help the Blues level the series at 1-1.

A five-time player of the year for the Brisbane Broncos, Haas has never really dominated the Origin arena like he does at NRL level. But with so much drama around his family and the extra responsibilities he's had to take on, it's easy to understand.

Payne Haas, pictured here with fiancee Lani and their daughter Lalita.
Payne Haas with fiancee Lani and their daughter Lalita. Image: Getty

Haas is the primary care-giver for two of his young brothers - Hans and Geejay - who are both still at school, and also has a young daughter of his own. Haas' parents are both currently in jail, with father Gregor arrested in the Philippines last month charged with drug trafficking. Indonesian authorities are trying to have him extradited, which could mean he faces the death penalty if convicted there.

Haas’ mother Uiatu 'Joan' Taufua is also in custody at the moment facing manslaughter charges, and is accused of fleeing a car accident on the Gold Coast in 2022 that resulted in three deaths. She is awaiting psychiatric testing and hasn't yet entered a formal plea.

Payne Haas with father Gregor in 2019.
Payne Haas with father Gregor at the Dally M Awards in 2019. Image: AAP

But according to his fiancee Lani, Haas hasn't faltered one bit. “Not even when the doors are shut and it’s just me and him," she told the Sydney Morning Herald as she broke down in tears.

"I’m just so proud of him. He is so strong mentally. His whole life is in the media. What he is doing for his family, what he is doing for me. I’m sorry if I can’t put it into words. His strength is just ... he is amazing. He’s really stepped up to care for those young boys. I don’t know how he doesn’t collapse.”

Haas said of the difficult situation: “I’m not angry but I do get sad. I do feel down for my little brothers. I just feel for them and they have to see this kind of stuff. I get supported by Lani and I’m unable to thank her enough. She is in a tough spot but she doesn’t back down from anything. She has taken on so much for me and I can’t thank her enough for that.”

Payne Haas and partner Lani.
Payne Haas and partner Lani at the 2023 Dally M Awards. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Statistics show Haas' average run metres, tackle busts and offload frequency are all down at Origin level compared to his efforts for the Broncos. However it could be argued that his cause hasn't been helped by the fact he's had five different front-row partners in his seven starts for NSW.

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Jake Trbojevic isn't a particularly big metre-maker, so it's down to Haas to lay the platform for the NSW halves and outside backs. NSW great Steve Roach said Queensland have limited Haas' destruction because he is too often carrying the Blues forward on his own.

"Origin is a different game from club (football), you've got to do little things right in Origin," Haas said. "I feel like that's what I base my game on in Origin: effort areas, getting into kick chase, kick pressure. When I have to run the ball I'll run the ball, but I solely just want to do my job for the team.

"People will see my club form and it's (unrealistic) to think I'm going to get 200 metres every game. To be honest that's not going to happen. Origin is such a different game and it's fast-paced and you're taking on the best players, so nothing is given to you easily."

with AAP