AAP Rugby

Back-row quest a Bennett ruse: Oates

By AAP Newswire

He still aspires to be a back-rower, but Corey Oates has revealed his mooted bid to crack the Brisbane pack this year has all been a Wayne Bennett ruse.

Oates said he was happy on the wing but was encouraged by coach Bennett to "have a bit of fun" with speculation claiming the off contract star wanted to play in the back-row and would consider moving clubs for a start.

Oates said the ploy was concocted after the lanky speedster spoke mid-season of his desire to one day return to the second-row where he played his junior footy.

"Wayne pulled me aside after that and said 'You're playing wing aren't you?'," Oates told Fox Sports' League Life.

"And I told him that I really am happy playing wing and starting to enjoy my football.

"And then he goes 'Righto, well let's have a bit of fun with it'.

"We did (string media along) but I really do want to make the (back-row) move eventually - I'm not too keen to do that too soon."

Oates is still looking for a 2019 deal but hopes to remain at Brisbane after talks were stalled by a change in management.

He has been linked to NRL rivals Canterbury, Gold Coast Titans, St George Illawarra and North Queensland.

Oates said being off contract so late in the season was "scary for me but also exciting".

"There's obviously a few clubs out there that are interested."