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By his own admission, Xavier Coates is something of a mild mannered character, so playing outside renowned hitman Justin Olam is the ideal scenario for the Storm's new left winger.

After launching his career at the Broncos with 17 tries in 32 games since debuting as an 18-year-old in 2019, Coates has made the move south to join fellow PNG Kumul Olam in a star studded Storm backline.

"From the first session we did, Juzzy and I clicked straight away from our cultural background," Oates said.

"I am not really an aggressive sort of player but it’s good to have him next to me and it makes you feel comfortable and you trust him.

Xavier Coates tries to handle Justin Olam when they met as opponents in 2021
Xavier Coates tries to handle Justin Olam when they met as opponents in 2021 ©NRL Photos

"I was still a bit raw with certain aspects of the game when I first joined but seeing Juzzy, centre of the year last year and what he has done throughout his career, he has helped me out a lot with my defence and my positioning.

"All the boys inside me are making it so easy for me. I'm learning a lot and they are helping me out heaps."

Joining Coates and Olam on a powerful left edge for the four-time premiers are former Bulldog Nick Meaney, who has been named at five-eighth for the season opener against Wests Tigers, along with Kenny Bromwich.

Meaney showed some nice touches in the pre-season trials but will make way for superstar Cameron Munster when he returns from suspension in round two.

Making Coates' Storm debut even more memorable is the fact he turns 21 on the day of the game and his family will be on hand at CommBank Stadium to watch him play.

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"My goal from the time I arrived was to get the jersey for round one and I've done that," Coates said.

"My family are making the trip down from the Gold Coast to support me and support the boys.

"A Storm debut alone is a good birthday present but whatever comes on the back of that, hopefully a victory, I'm proud to say that I'm about to become a Storm player."

If Coates is looking for a good omen for his Storm debut then Brisbane's opening game in 2021 provides it, the classy winger bagging a double against Parramatta on his 20th birthday.

Throw in Melbourne's incredible run of round one victories which stretches back to 2002 and the Maroons speedster has good reason to be confident of launching his Storm career in style.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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