After one of the best seasons of his career to date, which earned a return to the Origin stage after a three-year absence, Brisbane Broncos winger Corey Oates is setting his sights on the club's record books – namely, Steve Renouf's club record of tries for the Red Hill club.
Last year was Oates' best in terms of scoring output, with 20 tries in 22 games surpassing his previous best of 18 in both 2016 and 2018.
He now sits on 118 tries for the Broncos, 24 behind the iconic ‘Pearl' with 142. After protracted contract negotiations, Oates was able to remain at the club for the immediate future, which means he's every chance of taking Renouf's place and beating the record, which has been in place since 1999.
Oates has been doubling his efforts in pre-season as he sets his sights on the historic number, taking it upon himself to do strength training at a physiology studio.
“I've focused on getting my acceleration and pace back that I've lost,” Oates told AAP.
“I did all my training with my brother-in-law and he focused on strengthening my hips and squaring me up.
“I used to drag my right leg around because I tore my hip five years ago. I also did some sprint here with the Broncos coaches.
“One of the older fellas said, when I first started footy, that a career doesn't last long, but it goes quick.
“I'm that bloke now – there isn't a long time left, but I want to make the most of what I have and keep getting better each year.
“I want to push and get a premiership for the club and finish my career here.
“It would be awesome (to beat Renouf's record). You look at how quick he was and the legacy he's left at the club. He was a freak who could pull a try out of nowhere.”
Renouf himself believes there'd be no better Broncos winger to usurp his record, praising his commitment to the club over 10 years of loyal service.
“I think he'll definitely get there and I'll be so proud of him when he does because he always gives everything for the Broncos,” Renouf said.
“Corey just has to keep doing what he did last season and he'll get there in no time.
“He got his way back into Origin this year and that just shows the mental and physical space he's in. It's the best it's ever been.”