Brisbane are set to table an upgraded extension offer for Queensland Origin rookie Xavier Coates, but Craig Bellamy's own uncertain future at Melbourne will see the youngster hold fire on any contract call for some time.
Coates faces the daunting task of containing Storm speedster Josh Addo-Carr on Good Friday with the 2020 premiers battling the Broncos and Titans for his services next season.
NRL.com understands Melbourne have made their own offer to Coates, believed to be for at least two years, as Addo-Carr returns to Sydney next season.
The Broncos are set to bump up their original two-year extension for Coates in a bid to keep NRL rivals at bay, one of several retention stoushes being waged along with Kotoni Staggs and Tom Dearden.
However 20-year-old Coates is in no rush to finalise his future given Bellamy is still yet to make a call on his own plans beyond 2021.
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Whether Bellamy stays with Melbourne as head coach, in a coaching director's role, or takes up an offer to join Kevin Walters' rebuild at Red Hill, will understandably be factored into Coates's own contract call.
Coates met Bellamy late last year as the Storm began their pursuit, with the Titans also still in the mix as well with a three-year deal.
Coates told The Courier Mail earlier this month that "in an ideal world, I want to be a Bronco for life" and his first priority is to stay at the club.
More immediately, he will mark up on NSW Origin flyer and long-time Broncos tormentor Addo-Carr at AAMI Park.
Addo-Carr has scored 10 tries from nine games down his favourite left flank against Brisbane, his best head-to-head haul against an NRL rival.
Inside the NSW flyer will be Coates' Papua New Guinean countryman Justin Olam, the Storm wrecking ball who went himself last week in the final seconds against Penrith and was held up over the line with Addo-Carr unmarked outside him.
While the cameras zoomed in on Panthers players celebrating a stunning 12-10 win, Addo-Carr was comforting Olam, backing him to rebound strongly against the Broncos.
"He was obviously disappointed," Addo-Carr said.
"I'm really close mates with Justin off the field and just wanted to be by his side after the game.
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"He was pretty disappointed in himself. But I said to him 'that's part of the game'.
"I've had some disappointments in some games and I just wanted to be by his side to support him all the way.
"That's just rugby league. If he scored the try he would've been the hero. But that just wasn't the case at the time and everyone supports Juzzy."
The Broncos will take a chartered flight into Melbourne from Sydney on Friday after being granted travel exemptions by the Victorian government.
Brisbane hasn't won at AAMI Park since 2016. The Storm's dominance over them has seen them win their last eight clashes by a combined margin of 260-84.
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