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Broncos winger Corey Oates.

Corey Oates has banished the doubts that crept into his game at the end of last year to such an extent that he insists he will play in the middle as an extra prop against the Cowboys if required.

An Oates interview in a press conference can be a "tour de force" where the seriousness of the answers is up for debate, but the Broncos do have a serious lack of middle forwards ahead of the clash in Townsville.

Matt Lodge (partial ACL tear), Keenan Palasia (ACL) and Joe Ofahengaue (suspended) are all unavailable.

With captain Alex Glenn set to miss Friday night’s match with a hamstring injury the Broncos bench will likely boast just one regular NRL-experienced middle forward in Rhys Kennedy on the interchange along with Jamayne Isaako, Andrew McCullough and middle/edge forward Jamil Hopoate.

Oates is known for his penchant for taking the tough carries into the teeth of the defence when the hard yards are required.

When asked whether the Broncos were disadvantaged in having just one prop on the bench, Oates was quick to respond.

"I could be a back-up," he said.

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"Excuse me, look at where I started my career. I started on the wing and then played off the bench in the middle a few games so you never know. I could do that."

When asked whether Isaako could come on to the wing and Oates move into the forwards the Maroons winger said: "I am not saying it is not."

So would Oates relish such an assignment from coach Anthony Seibold?

"If he asked me I would definitely do it," he said.

What Oates’s responses revealed was a 25-year-old in an upbeat frame of mind. The word "positive" abounded in his interview. Last year he scored nine tries in the opening nine matches and was one of the form players of the competition before a post-Origin fadeout.

"It was probably the best start to a season I have ever had so I have to take that out of my year," he said.

"I played really bad towards the end. It  was a terrible finish, but I have to take out the positives, work on the negatives and be positive about what I can bring to the team and just do that every week … just concentrate on doing the small things right."

After spending nine days in hospital on a drip post-Christmas after complications from a staph infection in his leg, Oates had doubts he would make it for round one.

"The staff never had any doubts. That [doubt] was me coming out of hospital thinking I was nowhere near it, but they have done a great job and pushed me to my limits for the first two or three weeks, getting my fitness back as fast as they could," he said.

"Now I am feeling really good. There’s not a doubt in my mind, I am 100 per cent ready to go.”

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After losing six kilos during his hospital visit Oates is now back to his playing weight of approximately 106 kilos.

"I think I just lost a bit of pudding. I think I lost the padding I had around the belly. Everyone is commenting, saying I am looking a bit fitter but I am back to my weight now," he said.

"It makes you feel better when people say that. They never used to say that about me. They used to say I was a bit slow and sloppy.

"I did lose a lot of weight but [the strength and conditioning staff] have helped me get that back in the gym, working hard and trying to get my strength back.

"It’s a credit to them that they were positive about it when I was down a bit, but I’m feeling really good."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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