NRL Rd 9 - Broncos v Bulldogs
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Corey Oates of the Broncos celebrates his team's victory during the round nine NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Brisbane Broncos are reportedly set to make an enormous selection call heading into Week 1 of the NRL finals by dropping winger Corey Oates.

Oates has struggled throughout the course of the 2023 season, with injury hampering his progress regularly.

He has returned over the last fortnight, playing against the Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm, but as it stands, he is yet to cross the tryline in his nine games this season.

That is despite an electric running game, which has seen him average 185 metres per contest, to go with 35 tackle busts and 7 line breaks. Defensively, he has struggled, though, and Kevin Walters is set to swing the axe, according to News Corp.

The publication is reporting that in his place, Jesse Arthars will be selected on the wing. The report suggests that training on Sunday had Arthars training with the main side on the left wing, while Oates was seen training with the second-string squad ahead of this week's clash against the Melbourne Storm, where the loser will gain a second chance.

 2023-09-08T09:50:00Z 
Broncos WON BY 26 POINTS
Suncorp Stadium
BRI   
26
FT
0
   MEL
   Crowd: 50,197

After spending a year on loan at the New Zealand Warriors, Arthars, who can play anywhere in the back five, has had an impressive campaign back at Red Hill.

In 17 games, he has started 16 on the wing and played at centre against the Storm last weekend, with Arthars scoring eight tries and adding 32 tackle breaks.

Notably, he has defended far better than Oates, although he only averages 97 metres per contest, which could make a difference in the ferocious finals environment.

The call from coach Kevin Walters will shape as an enormous risk as he welcomes back all of his rested players from last weekend's loss to Melbourne, which ensured the Broncos missed out on the minor premiership.

This weekend's qualifying final will be the latest chance for the Broncos to break a long-running hoodoo against the Storm, with the winner advancing to the preliminary finals and the loser having to play the winner of the Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Roosters elimination final during Week 2 of the finals.