Oates plays down Origin talk
Brisbane Broncos winger Corey Oates has hosed down talks of a State of Origin call-up after another outstanding performance by the 21-year-old reignited speculation that he will make his debut for Queensland come Game One on June 1st.
Oates scored the first hat-trick of his career on Saturday night, helping Brisbane to a 53-0 rout of the Newcastle Knights at Suncorp Stadium.
Injuries to Queensland stars Billy Slater and Will Chambers has opened the door for Oates and his form warrants selection, scoring six tries in five games this season.
Despite talk of an Origin debut, Oates says he is just focused on performing to the best of his ability for the Broncos.
"I just want to keep playing good footy. It's a dream of mine to play Origin, but I'm just happy to be playing footy at the moment," Oates said.
"I need to keep producing performances like tonight and whatever comes from that I'll take with both hands and try my hardest.
"I had my first full pre-season this year so just getting through that without a surgery made me happy.
"I'm happy with the way my year started and I'm just trying to find the form I had before I injured my shoulder a few weeks ago.
"Hopefully I can keep playing good footy for the Broncos every week and we can keep seeing results like tonight."
Oates has struggled with injury throughout his short career, undergoing nine surgeries on various joints.
He injured his AC joint against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 2 this year and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks because of it.
Luckily, Oates escaped a tenth surgery and returned early to face the Gold Coast Titans just three weeks later.
Last night's win was Oates' third game back and the hulking winger admits his shoulder has been plaguing him since he made his return.
"The shoulder felt gold out there tonight. It felt a lot better than last week and I didn’t really feel it at all tonight," he said.
"That's a positive sign for me and I can now go into next week without worrying about it. Hopefully we can get a similar result next weekend.
"I was a bit worried about the shoulder when I first came back. I hurt it a bit last week, but I turned a corner this week and it's feeling pretty good. It's not phasing me anymore and I'm a lot happier now."