Oates no sure thing to stay with Broncos
Corey Oates is set to test himself on the open market as the off-contract Brisbane winger weighs up a huge decision on his future.
The 23-year-old's first option is to stay at the club he joined as a teenager and coach Wayne Bennett said the Broncos intended to re-sign him.
"We want him to stay here so we will try and work out a deal," Bennett said on Friday.
"We are confident we'll keep him but there are no guarantees."
There is an area of complexity around Oates's future. He will not be signing any new deals until his agreement with GS Sports Management expires in mid-August.
In the interim his father-in-law Gene Miles will be a sounding board in an advisory capacity, but the former Broncos captain has no desire to be an agent.
Oates was quizzed at length on Wednesday about his future and whether he would be prepared to look beyond Brisbane.
"You are always happy to test yourself on the open market to see what you are worth," Oates said.
"I am just trying to play consistent footy and when I am happy with the way I am going I will start testing myself on the open market. Until then, I haven't been looking at contracts or been in talks."
NRL.com columnist Steve Renouf recently urged the Broncos to re-sign Oates, saying his recent string of powerhouse displays at club level had put the giant winger firmly back in the frame for a Maroons recall.
He has stiff competition with Valentine Holmes and Darius Boyd also in the mix, but Bennett also agreed Oates was back in contention.
"I'd have to say he is but [wing] is a tough position to get in that Origin team with three or four guys that are candidates," Bennett said.
"He's going to put plenty of pressure on with his performances."
Oates has not played for Queensland since Origin I last year.
"It is always a dream come true to play for the Maroons," he said.
"It is something I like working towards. I'm just going to keep as much pressure as I can on Kevvie [Walters] and keep performing for the club first."
Oates said he valued having Miles in the background to help him keep performing at his best.
"He's always a good bloke to have in my ear to help me through things, being an ex-player, with his words that he gives me before tough games," Oates said.
"If I am not playing well he is always onto me about doing the simple things right. He is really good to have in the sense that he has been there and done all that."