Bronco fighting for Maroons career after latest axing
Queensland Origin winger Corey Oates is fighting for his career at the Broncos after being dropped for Thursday night's wooden-spoon derby against the Cowboys.
Two consecutive weeks of costly errors under the high ball have triggered Oates' relegation to the interchange bench for the final-round clash with Brisbane's arch rivals at Suncorp Stadium.
Oates has been Brisbane's premier winger for the past five years but he is now in danger of losing his Maroons jumper after Xavier Coates and Richie Kennar were named on the flanks for the Cowboys clash.
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Oates is one of several changes to the backline, with Jesse Arthars called up to fill in at left centre for Kotoni Staggs, who will start at five-eighth and partner Tom Dearden in Brisbane's injury-ravaged halves.
The last-placed Broncos must beat the Cowboys to avoid finishing with the wooden spoon and skipper Alex Glenn backed NSW Origin hopeful Staggs to fire in the No.6 jumper.
"Kotoni can do anything on the field," Glenn said. "Whenever he has the ball in his hand he is worrying the defence."
In other selection news, the Broncos' pack has been bolstered by the return of monster prop Payne Haas, who missed last week's 26-12 loss to the Eels to spend time with his family following the tragic death of his brother Chace.
Meanwhile, back-row superstar David Fifita's ankle injury against the Eels has opened the door for hard-running rookie Jordan Riki, who at 106kg is similar in stature to the Titans-bound Maroons hulk.
"It is a huge opportunity for Jordan Riki to start in that back-row position," Glenn said.
"He is a little bit nervous about starting but I said to him that it is easier to start than to come off the bench.
"He has a lot of talent and is still pretty raw but this is going to be a great challenge for him to finish the season with a starting spot and prepare him well for next year."
Originally published as Bronco fighting for Maroons career after latest axing