Broncos star accepts coach's Coates call

Xavier Coates may have played his final game for Brisbane before heading to Melbourne next season.
Xavier Coates may have played his final game for Brisbane before heading to Melbourne next season.

Brisbane star Kotoni Staggs accepts Melbourne-bound winger Xavier Coates' omission from the Broncos NRL team is the decision of the club's coaching staff.

Despite playing all three State of Origin matches for Queensland, Coates is a notable absentee from Brisbane's team to face high-flying Penrith at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Staggs confirmed Coates had been training with the playing group as per normal this week, suggesting his absence is more about coach Kevin Walters planning for the club's future.

Coates has already agreed to join the Storm at the end of the season with Walters opting for Corey Oates and Jamayne Isaako on the wings against the Panthers.

Both Oates and Isaako are contracted to the end of 2022.

Staggs says he's hopeful of playing alongside Coates before the season finishes but also has no issue with the 15th-placed Broncos settling on a line-up for the longer term.

"Xavier's a good winger. Good player. To play Origin you have to be good," Staggs said.

"At the end of the day he's not playing because of the coach's reason or whatnot.

"You don't want to change your team every week. We want to stick to the same team and changing the team every week isn't ideal.

"Hopefully he gets his chance again this season. We've got seven games to go so he could slot in there somewhere hopefully in weeks to come."

Saturday's game will be Staggs' third since returning from an ACL injury suffered late last season.

The 22-year-old said despite a heavy defeat to Wests Tigers last weekend, he's physically nearing his best after such a long stint on the sidelines.

"I feel really good," he said.

"The first game was always going to be a short amount of time on the field just because of the injury that I had.

"Hopefully I get through 80 minutes this week and we'll go from there."

Australian Associated Press