The Broncos' worst fears have been confirmed with State of Origin star Xavier Coates telling teammates he is moving to the Melbourne Storm.

The speedster was reported to have been on the verge of signing with the Storm on Friday night on a two-year-deal - and he dropped the hammer blow on Saturday night in a dressing room admission.

Broncos coash Kevin Walters confirmed earlier reports on Sunday that Coates spoke to teammates after their painful loss to the Cowboys on Saturday night, telling them he has accepted the Storm's offer.

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The Australian's Brent Read posted on Twitter Coates' move is a "huge coup" for the Storm.

Walters admitted Sunday the club is "disappointed" they couldn't convince Coates to stay.

"It's very disappointing. He's been in our system for 3-4 years now and to lose him, I've got to say, it's not good for the Broncos. We respect his decision to move on. How will it affect us in the future? Well we've got a couple good kids coming through and we'll go to market. Wingers are an important part of today's game and Xavier was an important part of our future. He was one of the guys we were really keen to hang onto."

It comes after a high-profile battle for the winger, which put heat on the Broncos' retention committee to keep Coates at the club.


The Courier-Mail reported Sunday the Broncos offered around $1 million to keep Coates at the club, but he has decided to accept less money to sign with the Storm on a two-year deal worth $850,000.

The Titans and Cowboys are also reported to have tabled rich offers to Coates.

The 20-year-old was the biggest fish left on the Broncos' retention list, behind only centre Kotoni Staggs - who re-signed with the club last week on a four-year-deal.

Coates will presumably replace Origin winger Josh Addo-Carr, who has signed with the Canterbury Bulldogs from next season.


On Monday, rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield told Sky Sports Radio that Coates flew to Melbourne following Brisbane's win over the Gold Coast Titans to tour the powerhouse club's headquarters.

Brisbane is still licking its wounds from seeing gun teenager Reece Walsh walk to the Warriors and Tom Dearden sign with North Queensland.

Between star forward David Fifita, Walker and Walsh - Coates is another indictment on the club's recruitment group, made up of recruitment boss Peter Nolan, club legend Darren Lockyer and new chief executive Dave Donaghy.

Coates has played 23 games for the Broncos since making his NRL debut in 2019, and featured for Queensland in two matches of last year's State of Origin triumph over the New South Wales Blues.

Coates' decision to tell teammates about his decision to join the Storm came just hours after Titans coach Mal Meninga admitted the club wanted to sign Coates.

"We believe he is going to be an asset to any club," Meninga told Fox League.

"He is a local junior from the Gold Coast. He has found his way through the junior ranks to the Broncos.

"We are in the hunt for Xavier and we are still waiting. He hasn't made a decision yet.

"From our point of view we are in among three or four other clubs at the moment, but we hope he comes to our club.

"He is a terrific young talent and he has a big future and he is a bright young man as well."

Originally published as Broncos' worst nightmare confirmed

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