Origin star’s secret meeting with rival coach
Brisbane Broncos star Xavier Coates could reportedly be eyeing a move to the Melbourne Storm in 2022 after a secret meeting with Craig Bellamy.
As revealed by The Daily Telegraph's Phil Rothfield, Bellamy met with the 19-year-old and his manager at the Coolangatta coffee club on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
According to the report, Bellamy was attempting to convince Coates to join the Storm after his contract with the Broncos expires.
Coates is signed with Brisbane until the end of the 2021 season, but will be on the open market from 2022.
The North Queensland Cowboys have also reportedly been targeting the talented winger.
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Coates has played 15 games for the Broncos since making his NRL debut in round 16 of the 2019 premiership.
He featured in the Queensland Maroons' triumphant State of Origin campaign this year, scoring two tries in the three-match series.
The Storm are hunting for a winger to replace Josh Addo-Carr, who last week confirmed he will join the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2022.
The 25-year-old speedster signed a four-year contract with the Bulldogs, and will therefore remain at Belmore until the end of the 2025 NRL premiership.
Meanwhile, Bellamy is contracted with the Storm until the end of next year, and has not revealed his intentions beyond the 2021 season.
The 61-year-old has reportedly received offers from the Broncos to serve in a coaching doctor role after his current contract expires.
However, Bellamy's reported attempt to lure Coates to Melbourne could indicate he has no interest in working at Red Hill.
Speaking to The Courier-Mail's Peter Badel in September, Bellamy conceded the stress of being a full-time NRL coach has taken its toll, and he was eager to hang up the boots next year.
"I think that is one of the reasons I'm looking forward to retiring," Bellamy said.
"That passion wears me out at times … We are in the stage of the season where you get a bit frazzled and it's been a long, hard year.
"I'm thinking that this (his current Storm contract) will be my tenure as a head coach, without a doubt.
"I'm pretty sure that at this time next year I will be close to finishing."
Originally published as Origin star's secret meeting with rival coach