After the high of making his NRL debut just a week ago, Gold Coast Titans back-rower Klese Haas has found himself suddenly in doubt for the Titans’ upcoming final-round clash with the Warriors in New Zealand.
Haas, the younger brother of Brisbane Broncos and NSW Origin prop Payne Haas, has revealed that he doesn’t have a passport, which poses a significant issue given the Titans’ final game is the fourth and final instalment of the Warriors’ well-advertised homecoming series, taking place at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium.
The race is now on to secure a passport for Haas, though there are question marks over how long he’ll have to wait to secure the relevant documentation with the Titans due to play the Warriors at 5pm (3pm AEST) local time on Saturday.
Despite the administrative issue, Haas has been named on the bench for the Titans and the race is now officially on to secure the document.
According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, an Australian Passport can be expedited for a $225 fee, provided there are no difficulties in proving the younger Hass’s identity.
The website claims that passports can be immediately obtained in emergency situations provided the applicant can make an appointment at a passport office and provide evidence of a compassionate or compelling need for immediate travel.
It’s not known whether professional sporting obligations are covered in those terms.
The next best option is a passport ‘within two business days’ and, after that, ‘within a week’.
Unfortunately, it’s not known how accurate these estimates are, with a notice at the bottom of the page indicating that at the moment, ‘unprecedented demand means you should allow a minimum of six weeks to receive your passport’.
Though he only spent 33 minutes on the field during the Gold Coast’s impressive win over Newcastle, Haas didn’t look out of place on his NRL debut. He ran for 43 metres from four carries in attack and made 17 tackles without a single miss as the Knights tested his defensive abilities.
I can’t understand how amateurish is the management of this club.
I doubt that there is any other club in the NRL that does not insist at the beginning of the season that every one of the players in the first team squad gets a passport if they do not have one, and presents it for inspection to show it will not expire during the season.
Every team will go to NZ for the Auckland 9s or for Warriors matches. Everyone in the squad is a possible selection, especially towards the end of the season.
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