Ben Cotton - September 7, 2018 - 2:07 pm

The Cowboys and Titans have dropped out of the race for off-contract Bronco Corey Oates, putting Brisbane in the box seat to retain the winger.

The Broncos have opened up contract talks with Oates, who has reportedly drawn offers worth $700,000 a season from rival clubs.

The 23-year old has also been linked to Canterbury and Parramatta as well as the Queensland clubs, but the Cowboys are cash strapped after acquiring exiled star Ben Barba and Broncos centre Tom Opacic.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan admitted that his team were no pursuing Oates, backing in his current wing brigade.

“We won’t be making an offer for Corey Oates,” Brennan told The Courier Mail.

“Corey is a wonderful player and I imagine he could attract big offers on the open market, but I’m very happy with our wingers and that’s the position I see for Oates.

“Apparently he’s keen to play back row but I think he’s best suited on the wing.

“I also don’t genuinely think he is a chance of leaving the Broncos, I’d be very surprised if Corey left given the success he’s had there.”

Oates did not train with the main group on Thursday due to a calf complaint, but teammate Andrew McCullough held no concerns over his availability for the Sunday’s elimination final against the Dragons.

“He reckons he’s a bit sore,” McCullough said.

“Corey’s a hard one to put a measuring stick on (with his injuries), but he will be all right I think.”