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Haas, Staggs in doubt as Broncos' injury curse returns

Joe Gould -

Brisbane's 2024 season injury curse has struck again, with prop Payne Haas leaving training with a knee complaint.

Centre Kotoni Staggs also has a knee complaint, although coach Kevin Walters hopes they will both be fit to play the Sydney Roosters.

The Broncos appeared to be at full strength for their home clash with the Roosters on Friday night, for the first time since the two sides clashed in round one in Las Vegas.

Representative prop Haas left training on Thursday and had his right knee re-strapped, the same knee he had minor surgery on earlier in the season.

Haas did some light running on the sideline and then disappeared inside Broncos HQ.

"He wasn't too good this morning, but we will see how he goes tomorrow," Walters said of Haas.

"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."

Tyro powerhouse Ben Te Kura, 19, joined the squad in Haas's absence. 

Walters said Te Kura would likely be "next in line" if Haas was ruled out.

Strike centre Staggs is also in doubt.

"Kotoni was a little bit up and down as well, he is the other one that still has a bit of a concern," Walters said.

"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."

Five-eighth Ezra Mam (finger) and centre Selwyn Cobbo (shoulder) missed last week's win over Wests Tigers but are both right to play.

The Roosters have their own dramas, with prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ruled out with a calf injury. 

There are several classic match-ups in store, none more so than Roosters right centre Joey Manu up against the left centre for the Broncos in Cobbo.

"They are both highly skilled players," Walters said.

"Manu roams all over the field and does his thing at the Roosters, whereas Selwyn is more of a classic centre. They are two good athletes and it should be a good contest.

"I like the way Selwyn has defended more than anything. That's the big thing as a centre, to get your defence right. 

"Most of them attack naturally and Selwyn is one of those guys, so it's more his defence with Ezra. He's had a few changes with his wing man as well, so he will have to adjust with Jesse (Arthars) there."

Joe Gould - AAP

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