Brisbane’s last-ditch bid to hang onto rising Origin flyer Xavier Coates has failed with the Storm set to stave off a lucrative late Titans play for his signature.
Coates is understood to have told his Broncos teammates after Saturday’s agonising 19-18 loss to North Queensland that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
No official comment has been made on his future by the Broncos or rival suitors given he is yet to sign any contract beyond 2021.
Coates’s next move has been the subject of growing speculation for much of 2021, but Melbourne are set to secure one of the game’s rising stars to replace Bulldogs-bound flyer Josh Addo-Carr from next season until the end of 2024.
With the Storm and Titans circling with two-year offers worth around $1 million respectively, Brisbane’s new CEO Dave Donaghy met the Queenslander winger’s management on Friday in an effort to keep the 20-year-old at Red Hill.
The Gold Coast have made similar moves of late with a bumped-up offer of their own, which club patriarch Mal Meninga confirmed on Fox League on Saturday night.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters remained bullish on his club’s chances of re-signing Coates both leading into and immediately after the Cowboys clash in Townsville.
“He’s a good young Queensland kid and we want him at a good young Queensland club,” Walters said on Saturday night.
“He showed good maturity tonight and actually showed his class in a lot of areas in defence and attack. He’s another good one we want to hang on to.”
However NRL.com understands Coates fronted teammates after the game and told them he will move on in 2022 having risen to Origin honours despite Brisbane’s wooden spoon campaign last season.
Coates scored another try against the Cowboys – his eighth in nine games this year – to sit equal fifth in the Telstra Premiership, while also proving safe as houses under the high ball in a tense Broncos defeat.