The Brisbane Broncos have a bit of a situation brewing.
Queensland Origin representative Corey Oates does not appreciate being deployed on the wing for the Broncos and has made no secret of his preference for the back row.
The Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs are willing to accommodate Oates’ preference and the 23-year-old star would be moving from one good side to either of two good sides if the Broncos do not take the proper measure to retain him.
Oates has played all his senior football on the win, but he is graded as a backrower. During the preseason of the NRL, Oates trained to play along the back, only to see himself slotted as a winger for the Broncos Round 1 game, a 34 – 12 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons.
It might behoove the Broncos to move Oates to the back for the next game against the North Queensland Cowboys, but if that does not materialise, either next week, or at some point in the season, Oates may be very receptive to overtures from Melbourne and Sydney.
“I think it’s going to be a … big decision of mine, for my career, anyway,” Oates told Channel Sevenof his next contract.
The club and Oates seem at an impasse for the moment, with contract talks on hold. Oates seems to think, and wants to prove, that he can play wing and backrow at the highest level
“Trying to, I suppose, show everyone that I still do have it — I can play wing, play back row,” Oates said.
It would seem that Brisbane Coach Wayne Bennett has a situation on his hands, although the situation of having too many players with too much talent is a better situation than some of the other possible scenarios.
In the loss to St George, Oates had 10 runs for 106 metres, stats that compared favourably with his number 2 counterpart for the Dragons.