Broncos receive double injury boost ahead of 'emotional' Roosters Las Vegas rematch

Billy Walters says both Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs will play against the Roosters.

The Broncos are set to play their first game since round one at full strength with Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs both expected to line up against the Roosters on Friday night. The Broncos duo were considered in doubt for the grudge match after picking up injuries at training on Thursday.

Haas left Brisbane's training session with a knee complaint, while Staggs also is suffering from a knee issue. Haas had only just returned to the side last week after having minor surgery on his right knee earlier in the season. And with his right knee strapped up on Thursday, the prop did some light running on the sideline before disappearing inside Broncos headquarters.

But on Friday morning Billy Walters said both are expected to take their place against the Roosters. "From what I’ve heard they’re both gonna play, but they just needed a bit extra warm-up for training and games and ‘cause Captain’s Run is such a light session and it’s only usually about 20, 25 minutes they didn’t really bother jumping in," Walters told Triple M Breakfast with Marto, Margaux & Dan.

Pictured Payne Haas left and Spencer Leniu right
Both Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs are set to play against the Roosters on Friday night in what is sure to be a heated encounter. Image: Getty

"They’re quite professional themselves so we didn’t really need them for the session but as long as they’re firing tonight, we’ll be alright.” It’s pretty scary knowing that if Payne Haas isn’t playing, Big Benny (Ben Te Kura) comes in, he’s probably bigger than Payne so, it's pretty scary.”

On Thursday coach Kevin Walters said both Haas and Staggs will be given every chance to play. "He (Haas) wasn't too good this morning but we will see how he goes tomorrow," Broncos coach Kevin Walters said.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Payne Haas takes on the defence during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at Clive Berghofer Field on April 30, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Haas only returned to the Broncos side last week after having minor surgery on his right knee earlier in the season.

"We will give him until kick-off, but if he's not fit he won't play. If he is fit and ready, we will play him. He has had a little bit of trouble with it. I would be saying he is playing tomorrow. It's too early in the season to take any risks, particularly with Payne and his knee.

"Kotoni was a little bit up and down as well, he is the other one that still has a bit of a concern. He pulled up a bit sore today. He didn't do a lot of training, but we will see how he is on game day. He is pretty tough, old Tones." The Broncos will also be boosted by the return of five-eighth Ezra Mam (finger) and centre Selwyn Cobbo (shoulder) after both missed last week's win over Wests Tigers.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Kotoni Staggs of the Broncos runs the ball during the round two NRL match between Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium, on March 14, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Kotoni Staggs has been struggling with a knee injury but is expected to line up against the Roosters on Friday.

Haas insists Brisbane players won't let high emotions derail them from doing their job as they face the Roosters for the first time since the Spencer Leniu racism saga. Leniu will not play for the Tricolours in Friday night's blockbuster, as he serves the last match of his eight-game ban for calling Mam a "monkey" in Las Vegas but tensions between the two teams remain high.

Following the slur, the teams were involved in a late-night verbal altercation back at their US hotel. And there are simmering tensions between the two clubs ahead of Friday night's blockbuster clash. But Haas says Broncos players won't let their emotions get the better of them.

"I don't think (it'll be an issue)," he said. "I wasn't around (in the Vegas corridor) so I'm not sure what happened if there was any bad blood. But I'm pretty sure they've buried the hatchet there.

"Our team is pretty good for this kind of stuff, we know it's just another game of footy. It's going to be a physical game anyway, so (the history) doesn't really matter."


Sydney Roosters have suffered an injury setback ahead of the clash with Brisbane with veteran prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ruled out with a calf complaint. The prop was set to celebrate his 300th game for the club this weekend but that will now wait at least one more week.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 11: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves of the Roosters warms up during the round six NRL match between Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium, on April 11, 2024, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Veteran prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been ruled out of the Roosters clash against Brisbane with a calf complaint.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson says the injury is not too serious and he hopes he will be able to celebrate his milestone match next week. “It’s really minor but not good enough to play,” Robinson said.

“He was going to celebrate his 300 games for the Roosters, which is our highest honour. We savour that and you get a gold Rooster to do that but it won’t be tomorrow night so we will have to save it for another week.”

with AAP