Corey Oates heads to a Queensland training session during the week. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP
Corey Oates heads to a Queensland training session during the week. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP

Oates told to stay on wing if he wants to play Origin

GIVE up a Queensland jumper or abandon your childhood dream - that is the ultimatum Wayne Bennett has given Broncos star Corey Oates, who has reiterated his quest to become an NRL second-rower.

Broncos star and Maroons winger Oates has been recalled to Queensland's left wing for Wednesday's State of Origin III in Brisbane after a backline reshuffle caused by Greg Inglis' broken thumb.

While happy to again don the maroon, Oates complained at Queensland's Gold Coast camp that he was a frustrated back-rower playing on the wing.

The off-contract winger also did not rule out leaving the Broncos if an NRL rival offered a second-row start.

But Bennett warned Oates that pursuing the NRL back-row dream - formulated when he was a kid - would mean abandoning a Queensland jersey.

"If he is an edge forward he wouldn't be playing State of Origin," Bennett said.

"That's the decision he has got to make. If he doesn't want to play Origin and an opportunity to play for Australia, well he can devote his life to being an edge forward.

"But I don't believe he would be picked for Queensland as an edge forward, but he's a hell of a good winger."

Oates has claimed he will wear down Bennett and finally run out for the Broncos in the back row.

Bennett didn't like his chances.

"That won't happen to this coach, not him in the back row," he said.

"He might be pitching but I am not listening.

"He loves the wing ... but when he gets around you guys (media) he gets all soft and watery and says he wants to play on the edge, but he is only kidding you."

Bennett hoped to keep Oates despite the winger's threat to move on for a back-row start.

"We will be doing our best to keep him but we are in the salary cap world. It's not easy - everybody wants more, nobody wants less," he said.

- AAP



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