Origin ace’s big contract boost for Broncos
Broncos flyer Corey Oates has told rival NRL clubs to not waste their time trying to poach him after guaranteeing he will sign a long-term deal to remain in Brisbane.
It can be revealed Oates has given the Broncos a verbal guarantee he will not leave Red Hill as he sets his sights on being a one-club statesman.
Oates, 24, is off-contract at season's end after inking a one-year extension in December following a drawn out negotiation which was hampered by a management spat.
Oates started pre-season training by himself late last year and was so desperate to reunite with his teammates that he agreed to a one-year deal for 2019.
But the Queensland Origin winger is now eyeing off a multi-season contract which could take him past the 200-game milestone for the Broncos.
"I don't want to go anywhere, there is no chance of me wanting to go anywhere," Oates said.
"I've always wanted to play at this club and I want to be a one-club player. A long-term deal would be great.
"I wanted to do the one year to relax myself and get me ready for round one so I can concentrate on the start of the year.
"I'm feeling pretty fresh now. It's good to get a few full off-seasons in a row, it makes you feel better about yourself.
"It's the strongest and fittest I've been coming into a season. I'm pretty excited."
Oates will get a solid test of what shape he is in when he confronts Fijian flyer Suliasi Vunivalu in Thursday night's NRL season-opener against the Storm in Melbourne.
The 192cm try-scoring ace scored an equal career-high 18 tries in 23 games for the Broncos last year to burst back into the State of Origin arena.
But Oates was hamstrung by a management issue which prevented him from being able to negotiate a new deal with the Broncos until late in the year.
The messy sacking of former Broncos coach Wayne Bennett also impacted on Oates' future as he sat in limbo awaiting the arrival of new coach Anthony Seibold.
Oates eventually linked up with agent George Mimis, the manager of league greats Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, and settled on a one-year deal to buy himself some time.
"I had to do it, the circumstances built up and that was the smartest decision in the end," Oates said.
"It was going back and forth. It was weird training on your own. We wanted to do a one-year deal to get it out of the way and I can work on a longer deal later.
"All the stuff (Bennett) that happened didn't help. That isn't something you plan for. It was a speed bump that I couldn't overcome in the end.
"I didn't want to (sign a one-year deal) again but it had to come to it. I'm happy with my decision.
"It was up to me and I had to talk myself into it for a while, but it was the right thing in the end and cleared my head.
"I could focus on the start of the season."
Oates has scored 78 tries in 120 NRL appearances for the Broncos since debuting in 2013.
He has overcome a raft of injuries as junior to play at least 20 matches in each of the past four seasons, cementing himself on Brisbane's left wing.
With a long-term deal in his sights, Oates wants to forge a legacy as one of Brisbane's greatest servants.
"I'd love for something like that (be recognised as a club legend) to be my departing present to myself, to know I did as much as I can for the game and club," he said.
"I want to be a one-club player and show the loyalty that you give back to the club and fans.
"Something like that long-term would be great. That is something I want to work towards, staying here my whole career.
"To be part of the Broncos for your whole career is an achievement on its own. That is something we (Mimis and I) spoke about."