Brisbane boss Paul White admits attempts to transform the NRL club's culture under new coach Kevin Walters have suffered a setback with Payne Haas's weekend arrest.
The 21-year-old representative forward was arrested and subsequently charged by police after an alleged altercation at Tweed Heads in NSW last Saturday night.
Haas will face Tweed Heads local court on February 2 after being charged with offensive language and intimidate police officer.
He'll also be the subject of an NRL integrity unit investigation which could come with playing and financial sanctions.
It's the first off-field challenge for Walters as he aims to erase the horrors of Brisbane's 2020 campaign, which included the first wooden spoon in the club's history.
"Any incident like that would," White said when asked if the matter was a setback to Walters' transformation.
"We'd had an incident free pre-season. The players had returned from the Christmas break in good shape and things were tracking well.
"Our roster was in good shape. Kevvie's got all his new staff in place.
"Anything like this is a setback but we need to own it as a club.
"Payne, first and foremost, needs to own it and Kevvie will obviously be a part of that process. There's a lesson to be learnt. We have to take those lessons."
As well as Brisbane's on-field struggles in 2020, Haas had a difficult year personally with the death of his brother Chace.
Having been suspended for the first four matches of the 2019 season and fined $20,000 for failing to comply with an NRL integrity unit investigation into a matter involving members of his family, White said it was on the youngster to make better choices in his future.
"On any given Saturday night, there'll be plenty of people that are approached, who've had a bit too much to drink, who police would have an interaction with who make their way home safely and without incident," White said.
"The poor decision was the way Payne responded to an approach by place and he's found himself in a situation which is totally unacceptable."
Australian Associated Press