Police have reportedly launched an investigation into a brawl involving Broncos teammates Payne Haas and Albert Kelly.
According to , NSW Police on Monday confirmed it had opened a probe into the fight, while the Broncos and the Integrity Unit have spoken to both players.
On Sunday, News Corp outlets released a video showing Haas swinging his fist at Kelly. The alleged altercation occurred on March 20, the day before Kelly turned 31 and just hours after the Broncos beat Canterbury 16-10 in Sydney in Round 2 of the NRL season.
A still from the footage that emerged on Sunday is alleged to show Payne Haas (left) swearing at and hitting teammate Albert Kelly
Haas – a devout Muslim who observes Ramadan – has reportedly told club bosses he wasn’t drinking alcohol on the night in question.
At first the location of the alleged stoush was unknown, but that became apparent on Monday morning.
‘It was in was in the foyer of the hotel they were staying at,’ journalist Phil Rothfield said on .
‘It was after their round two (game against) the Bulldogs, they were in Sydney and had been out for a couple of beers after the game, there was a dispute between the pair.
Haas’ NRL future is uncertain, with the prop exploring options that would make him the highest-paid middle forward in the game
‘The problem for the Broncos is it has gone public and the other problem is Payne Haas should be behaving better than he was in that video. To be roughing up, throwing a punch at a little halfback.
‘In 2019 he was suspended for four matches and fined $20,000 for failing to co-operate with an integrity unit investigation.
‘Last year he behaved disgracefully and was charged with offensive language and intimidating police at Tweed Head. He was fined $50,000 and suspended for three matches by the NRL.
‘I’m wondering if there’s a wider problem here and if Payne Haas even wants to be at the Broncos or whether he wants to play for another club (because) he doesn’t appear to be happy there.’
Kelly injured his foot in the Broncos’ loss to the Warriors on Sunday and could miss significant time, leaving Brisbane with a halves crisis
Speaking on 4BC radio on Monday, Brisbane legend Steve Renouf acknowledged the incident was not a great look for the Broncos and called for the club to lay down the low to Haas and Payne.
‘We had a couple of bingles – arguments – within the playing group as individuals,’ he said.
‘But the big things is, what the boys have got to understand is there’s mobile phones these days with cameras on them.
‘It’s not a great look. It is a different era […] I think they probably do need pulling in a bit.
Haas has twice fallen foul of the NRL Integrity Unit in the past two seasons
Footage allegedly shows Haas calling Kelly a ‘f***ing c***’ before striking him with his left fist.
Kelly allegedly stepped on Haas’ foot, before asking his teammate: ‘Why would I step on your shoes?’
The altercation comes at a delicate time for the Red Hill club, who have been struggling badly since their win against Canterbury.
Last week, the Broncos suffered a 38-12 beating by the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, followed by a 20-6 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
The brawl is alleged to have happened the day before Kelly turned 31
Haas has already been suspended twice by the Integrity Unit of the NRL for drunken behaviour.
After failing to fully cooperate with the NRL Integrity Unit in an investigation regarding an off-field incident involving family members, dating the Broncos fined him $20,000 and suspended him for four games in 2020.
Brisbane are no strangers to clashes between teammates.
Prop Tom Flegler left Jordan Riki needing stitches to his face in September last year when he punched him after a Mad Monday celebration got out of control.
Former Brisbane prop Matt Lodge punched ex-Bronco Jack Bird several times when another team bonding session got out of hand in 2019.