Legend urges Oates to spread his wings
BRONCOS legend Steve Renouf has urged Corey Oates to forget about his forward flirtation and re-sign with Brisbane as a winger.
Oates' foray into the Broncos back row is all but over with the winger destined to stay where he is if he wants to remain at Red Hill.
The former Maroons winger spent the pre-season training with Brisbane's forwards before being sent back to his original position by coach Wayne Bennett in Round 1.
Oates has been one of Brisbane's best players in a poor start to the season, scoring two tries and averaging 119m on the left wing with his pressure-easing carries.
The 23-year-old is off-contract at season's end and has tested his value on the open market, but 183-game Broncos flyer Renouf urged Oates to commit to Brisbane.
"He needs to make the wing his own," he said. "We've got two good wingers in him and (Jamayne) Isaako. When the Broncos are going well we have good wingers.
"You want him to stay on the wing. There was talk of him going into the second row but we prefer him on the wing.
"He's played Origin on the wing and can do some really good things. I'd be surprised if we don't lock him down.
"He loves the Broncos. I know he might have a manager looking around, but ultimately he would want to stay here."
Oates signed a one-year contract extension last year as he pondered the possibility of making a move to the back row.
At 192cm and 105kg, Oates possesses the frame to flourish in the forward pack, however injuries have been cruel to his young body.
Bennett believes the Broncos are a better team when Oates is on the wing and will look to retain the 103-game winger on a new contract.
Oates, who was dropped from the Maroons last year after four Origins, said he was yet to receive an offer from the Broncos and was not worried about his future.
"I don't find it hard to be off-contract," he said. "I have 17 games of football still to play, it is a long time and the rest of that stuff will work itself out.
"It's not on my mind at the moment, it's the last thing I want to worry about. I need to play my best football for the Broncos and keep my form up.
"You never want to leave the club where you have been at for a while but it will work itself out. You never know what can happen.
"I need to get something on paper first. I can't sign if I haven't got an offer."
Bennett has named young gun Jaydn Su'a in the back row for Thursday's clash against the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
Lock Josh McGuire will shift to hooker to replace injured No. 9 Andrew McCullough while Anthony Milford and Jack Bird will start in the halves.