Broncos coach backs Corey Oates to take chance

BRONCOS coach Anthony Griffin believes injuries to representative back-rowers Matt Gillett and Corey Parker will give the immensely-talented Corey Oates a chance to shine against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

Gillett has been cleared of a serious shoulder injury from the 19-10 defeat to the Warriors last Saturday, while Parker suffered a facial fracture in Brisbane's round-13 win over Canberra. Both should be available for Queensland in the third Origin game in Brisbane on July 9.

In the meantime, the 19-year-old Oates will play just his third game in Broncos colours this season against the Sharks.

"He got 55 minutes last week, and he's starting to churn out some minutes with some quality," Griffin said.

"It's another opportunity for him to prove himself at this level."

Centre Justin Hodges will return from his post-Origin break to add some firepower to a Broncos backline that managed only two tries against the Warriors.

Griffin also said he expected the Sharks' backline, particularly players like Todd Carney, Michael Gordon and Sosaia Feki, to pose a threat to his team's defence. "They're no mugs," he said.

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