Broncos sign Origin duo to new contracts
BRISBANE has landed a double blow in its ongoing $6 million retention battle, tying down Queensland Origin stars Josh McGuire and Corey Oates with new deals.
The club is trumpeting that McGuire's four-year deal will make him a "Bronco for life", keeping him at Red Hill until the end of 2021, when the front-rower will be 31.
Oates, meanwhile, has inked a one-year extension understood to be worth about $400,000.
Tipped to return to the back row where he started his career before a stunningly successful switch to the wing, Oates is eyeing a further salary bump up in line with the extra dollars typically on offer for second-rowers - hence the short-term deal.
The pair's re-signing is welcome news for the Broncos, who finished last season with close to $6 million worth of rep stars and regular first graders off-contract.
Brisbane lost out in its bid to retain Ben Hunt in January, as the Dragons lured him south with a bumper $6 million, five-year offer from 2018.
But as well as securing McGuire and Oates, the club has also pushed further into negotiations with star five-eighth Anthony Milford and skipper Darius Boyd over the past fortnight.
A four-year deal has been discussed with Milford, who will command about $1 million a season, while both Brisbane and Boyd have made it clear they expect the star fullback to finish his career where it started more than a decade ago.
McGuire is viewed as the long-term leader of the Broncos pack, and this season takes on Corey Parker's famed No.13 jersey.
"It was a no-brainer for me - to stay part of this club and hopefully be a one-club player for the rest of my life was an offer I couldn't refuse," McGuire said.
"My goal as a 14-year-old was to play NRL for the Brisbane Broncos.
"I've had the opportunity to do that and I think I will look back and say 'how did it happen and why did they pick me?'.
"Obviously a lot of luck comes into it and opportunity, but I am just so excited about the next four years."
Oates' latest deal comes on the back of a couple of stellar seasons on Brisbane's left flank, after coach Wayne Bennett moved him out of the forwards at the start of 2016.
A 2015 grand final appearance against North Queensland followed, before a strong debut Origin series for the Maroons last year.
"Corey has been with us since he was a teenager so we are very happy he has extended his contract," Broncos chief executive Paul White said on Wednesday.
"The extension is a mutual agreement between Corey, his management and the club, and will give all parties the time to work on his game and assess his long-term future."
White will now turn his attention to the likes of Andrew McCullough, Adam Blair, Jordan Kahu and Alex Glenn - with Glenn and Kahu both linked to the Warriors in recent months.