Corey Oates wants to switch back to the second row, but can the Broncos afford to let him?
Wayne Bennett has already made clear that Oates is up against it cracking Brisbane’s all-international back row, while the 23-year-old’s own proficiency on the wing also counts against him.
Oates has established himself as a world class finisher on the flank in recent years, but his 192cm, 105kg frame has also proved invaluable getting the Broncos out of trouble in that time.
Skipper and fullback Darius Boyd is not a renowned kick-returner of the football, which adds extra weight to the 87 metres a game that Oates contributed from Brisbane’s own 40-metre zone.
With 56.2 post-contact metres a game as well, Oates took more stopping than any other winger or fullback in the game last year – again no real surprise given how quickly he can crank that athletic frame up to full speed.
No doubt that is what makes Oates such an attractive proposition closer to the ruck and running an edge channel at unfortunate five-eighths and halfbacks.
Whether that outweighs the impact he makes at the back, and up and down the left sideline, is the question.