THE NRMA Insurance Broncos have locked up one of the best young forward talents in the game with Corey Oates inking a new three-year contract.
Already signed for the 2015 season, Oates agreed last week to a two-year extension that will keep him at the Broncos until the end of 2017.
Amazingly, the teenage Central Queensland product has played 29 NRL games before his 20th birthday.
His signing comes on the back of gun halfback Ben Hunt locking in a new three-year deal last week.
While contracts always present a bit of negotiating, Oates said he was never going to sign elsewhere.
“I am very happy and can’t wait to be here for another three years,” he said.
“This has been my club since I was a little boy, so the last thing I wanted to do was leave.
“The family were in the negotiations, which was something my manager and I wanted to do.
“They were happy with everything, and so was I.
“It’s a really good outcome and I am really happy to be staying for another three more.”
Oates had a steep learning curve this year, playing 20 games in the forwards after debuting on the wing as an 18-year-old in 2013.
He said building his experience and game time were his next goals.
“It was a big change but second row is the position I prefer,” he said.
“I played most of my senior schooling there.
“Last year was a great opportunity and it helped me a bit this year – I probably wasn’t as scared as I was going into the nine games last year.
“It was a lot harder and more physical (this year), but I loved it.
“It was really good fun and hopefully I can carry on next year and get a lot better in my game.”
Oates has had off-season surgery on his shoulder, but said he would be back for the 2015 trials.
Now his future is settled, he feels ready to go.
“I just had a little tear in the front of my shoulder and it was best to get it done,” he said of the operation.
“I should be back for the last two trials next year.
“Hopefully it will go good and I will be back as soon as possible.
“It’s exciting, I love playing at the place and I am very excited to be here for another three years.”