Sonny Bill Williams has dismissed rumours which suggest he is playing a part in Payne Haas’ contract dispute with the Brisbane Broncos.
The Broncos are priced at 7/4 to finish in the top four of the NRL this season but there are fears the fall-out between Haas and the club could harm their chances.
The row stems from the fact that Haas believes he deserves a pay upgrade on his contract that still has over two years to run. The Broncos have said that is not possible just now due to the salary cap.
That lead to the Haas camp requesting an immediate release from the deal. That was rejected by the Broncos and all hell has broken out since.
Haas has been criticised in the media, while the Broncos fans have also turned on one of their own. The player’s agent has copped some flak and Williams, a good friend of Haas, has also seen his name brought into it.
“I find it quite amusing that I am being painted as the person telling Payne to break his contract,” Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I want to make it very clear, I support Payne in everything and anything he wants to do in his career decisions or in any direction he decides to go in.
“He has a direct line to me when he wants to discuss his future, his faith and his family. Payne is my brother and I have his back and his best interests at the very front of my mind. But I have not instructed him to do anything. He’s his own man and people need to respect him for that.
“To say otherwise is an insult to him, and there is a lot more to Payne than people know.”