Broncos young gun abandons ship
Brisbane young gun Xavier Coates will reportedly join the Melbourne Storm on a two-year deal in another significant blow for the Broncos.
As first revealed by The Daily Telegraph, Coates will reject advances from the NRL’s three Queensland teams to join the defending premiers.
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The 20-year-old was the biggest fish left on the Broncos’ retention list, behind only centre Kotoni Staggs.
Coates will presumably replace Origin winger Josh Addo-Carr, who has signed with the Canterbury Bulldogs from next season.
BREAKING: HUGE news at Broncos… Xavier Coates has signed with the @storm rejecting Brisbane
Coates is the biggest loss for the club so far.
Full story tonight @7NewsBrisbane
On Monday, rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield told Sky Sports Radio that Coates flew to Melbourne following Brisbane’s win over the Gold Coast Titans to tour the powerhouse club’s headquarters.
“They tell me he’s on the verge of signing with the Storm,” Rothfield said.
He also questioned the Broncos’ recruitment committee after “really, really poor recruitment” in recent years.
Brisbane is still licking its wounds from seeing gun teenager Reece Walsh walk to the Warriors and Tom Dearden sign with North Queensland.
Between star forward David Fifita, Walker and Walsh — Coates is another indictment on the club’s recruitment group, made up of recruitment boss Peter Nolan, club legend Darren Lockyer and new chief executive Dave Donaghy.
Xavier Coates of the Broncos.Source:Getty Images
On the weekend, new Brisbane chief executive Dave Donaghy hit out at “vultures” stealing the club’s best young talent.
“My intent is to come in and work with the recruitment and retention team, I do have experience in that space,” Donaghy said on Monday.
“I’ve got a firm grasp on the salary cap, I understand how roster management works.
“There are also some challenges, and it’s not an excuse, some challenges in terms of our regulation and our governance among the game. There’s no reward for development.
“There’s the ability for vultures to swoop in and throw ridiculous amounts of money and steal your best talent.
Coates has played 23 games for the Broncos since making his NRL debut in 2019, and featured for Queensland in two matches of last year’s State of Origin triumph over the New South Wales Blues.
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