Set to appear in his 200th game for the club this weekend against the Canberra Raiders, Oates' future is in limbo as he remains off-contract at the end of the season and has been linked to other clubs, including the Knights.
His original contract had player options in his favour to remain at the club, however, it was reported that the 28-year-old was offered a downgrade in salary which is significantly less than what he is currently on at the moment.
“I'd be gutted [if Oates left], but I guess that's rugby league – it's part of the game sometimes,” Riki said via the Herald.
“He was a good mentor for me coming through. It's pretty hard to say at the moment, but I'd love to have him around as long as possible.
“He was one of those people who took me under his wing when I first came in. He debuted at a younger age as well, so he can definitely relate to a lot of us younger boys coming through.
“He's obviously had his ups and downs throughout his career, so he's definitely been someone I've leant on, and he's definitely helped me out as a mentor away from footy as well, on how to cope with things.”
While he hopes Oates will remain at the club, Jordan Riki was asked about his own contract status. Off-contract at the end of the 2024 season, the forward is free to negotiate with rival clubs from November 1, along with teammates Kurt Capewell and Brendan Piakura.
The club will be eager to secure his signature, along with the others, after they have lost Thomas Flegler and Keenan Palasia to rival Queensland clubs, the Dolphins and Gold Coast Titans, for next season.
“Honestly, for me at the moment, all I've been focusing on is just trying to play good footy, and enjoy my life outside footy as well,” Riki added via the publication.
“The main thing and focus for me is to get into this finals series and really play well as a team and see how far we can go.
“We're all such a tight group, and I think we all just want the best for each other. We've all got one goal at the moment, and that's to take it out [the premiership] this year.
“I don't think there's any fear of competition throughout the whole team; I think we've all got one big picture and that's to win the grand final.”