Corey Oates playing for South Logan. Picture: David Clark
Corey Oates playing for South Logan. Picture: David Clark

Broncos star’s personal gamble set to backfire

Corey Oates has appealed for Broncos coach Kevin Walters not to axe him for Brisbane's season opener amid fears the former Queensland Origin star could be relegated to the Intrust Super Cup.

Oates' off-season conversion from the wing to his preferred spot in the back row has left him on shaky selection ground ahead of the Broncos' round-one clash against Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night.

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Oates would have been a certainty on the left wing, but his desire to move to the forwards has left the former Maroons flyer with no guarantees he will be included in Brisbane's top 17 for the Eels showdown.

Speculation over Oates' selection hopes for the 2021 premiership opener intensified after he was named to play for Souths Logan in Saturday night's Intrust Super Cup trial against Redcliffe at Brandon Park.

A hand injury has played havoc with Corey Oates’ pre-season preparation. Picture: Tara Croser.
A hand injury has played havoc with Corey Oates’ pre-season preparation. Picture: Tara Croser.


Oates' 65-minute stint featured some strong defence and good lines in attack and he is hoping the performance was sufficient to convince Walters he warrants a spot on Brisbane's interchange bench.

Walters is keeping the entire Broncos squad on edge as he prepares to name his first premiership team on Tuesday.

"I hope I am in the team for round one," Oates said.


"We'll wait and see if Kevvie picks me but I'm hoping to be there.

"Kevvie hasn't given me any indication so I used it (the Souths Logan trial) as an opportunity to get some fitness and hopefully I can show the coach I should be in the team for next week against the Eels."

Oates lost ground in the battle for NRL jumpers after breaking his hand in pre-season, but his utility value could see him sneak onto Brisbane's bench for the Parramatta clash.

Given the size of the Eels' monster pack, Walters will consider deploying a four-forward bench, which could comprise Oates, Tom Flegler, Ben Te'o and Cowboys recruit John Asiata.

Asiata has the ability to operate as a back-up hooker for Jake Turpin, while Oates' experience as a winger would come in handy if there is an injury to Brisbane's backline.


Walters will also consider the claims of hooker Cory Paix for the No.14 utility slot, but Oates believes the Souths Logan hitout helped his selection claims as he adjusts to a back-row workload.

"The reality is I need to get fitter to play in the backrow so I needed more minutes (in the trial)," Oates said.

"I couldn't play in the first trial against Wynnum because of my busted hand, so Kevvie wanted to see me get more minutes and spend more time in the back row.

"I've had to change a lot, I've had to get a lot fitter and work a lot harder to make it as a back-rower.

"I'm pretty confident I will be able to handle the workload and play the longer minutes to do well in the forwards."

Originally published as Broncos star's personal gamble set to backfire


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