Queensland league legend Wally Lewis has revealed how being inexplicably banished from the Brisbane Broncos has shattered Corey Oates.
Oates has only played five games in first grade this season, despite being fully fit and in seemingly top form playing for the Broncos’ feeder club Souths Logan Magpies in the Queensland Cup.
But Oates has clearly fallen out of favour with new coach Kevin Walters, baffling Brisbane fans and also leaving Lewis scratching his head.
“Here in the newsroom, we’ve talked about Oates and the form he’s displayed when he’s had the chance,” Lewis, Nine News Brisbane’s sports presenter, said on Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
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“I’m a Corey Oates fan as well and have spoken to him a couple of times.
“The extreme disappointment … I’ve seen blokes that have been furious, ready to blow up, almost knock out the coach for non-selections.
“He doesn’t go into that department but he’s sort of lost. He’s a lost soul and he’s very disappointed about it.”
The last time Oates played for the Broncos was in Round 10 and he played the four games prior, too.
During those matches, the Broncos had just one win (against the Titans), with two blowout losses of 46-6 to the Eels and 50-6 to the Sea Eagles and two closer defeats to the Panthers (20-12) and Cowboys (19-18).
The 26-year-old has played 161 games for the Broncos and has eight caps for the Maroons in State of Origin, but since pushing to move from the wing to the second-row, Oates’ career has been on a bit of a rollercoaster.
For the Magpies in the Queensland Cup, Oates has scored four tries in six games, with 21 tackle breaks, one try assist and 87.5 per cent tackling efficiency. The Magpies have also only lost once with Oates in the team.
Lewis still believes there’s hope Oates can force his way back into the Broncos squad despite his recent exile.
“Let’s just hope he can earn another chance at the top and prove,’I’m back and certainly deserve my position’,” Lewis said.
“It won’t be easy but he’s one of those players that we know if he gets a shot, he’ll make the best of it and won’t waste it.”
Broncos board member Darren Lockyer didn’t have a concrete answer for why Oates has been on the outer, but suggested it just might be something Walters feels is lacking in him.
“He obviously doesn’t think the form Corey’s in is enough to warrant selection in first grade,” Lockyer said.
Oates was named in a bombshell Courier Mail report as having been “filthy” with Walters for a Round One snub. Oates was dropped for the season opener, which he would have copped on the chin – but was incensed when he found out about it from Souths Logan’s coach, rather than directly from Walters.
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