Brisbane coach Kevin Walters is adamant Xavier Coates still has a role to play despite overlooking the State of Origin winger for Saturday's NRL clash with Penrith.
Coates was a surprise omission from the Broncos' line-up to tackle the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium, with Corey Oates and Jamayne Isaako retaining the wing spots they had last week against Wests Tigers.
The Queensland representative has already agreed a deal to join Melbourne from next season and his omission suggested Walters' focus had shifted to players who will be at Red Hill from 2022 and beyond.
But the Broncos coach was adamant there would be no early release for Coates and he expects the 20-year-old to feature again before the end of the campaign.
"We believe certainly that Xavier can still contribute to the Broncos here in his last seven weeks here at the club so that's the reason why we're hanging on to him," Walters said.
"He's obviously a quality player and we need him and his services for the rest of the season."
The departure of Tevita Pangai Jnr to the Panthers earlier this week ahead of the Tongan international's move to Canterbury next season continues Walters' rebuild of Brisbane's roster.
Walters said there were no plans for further movement before the August 1 deadline on mid-season transfers, but he also knows nothing can be ruled out.
"As everyone knows the roster of every NRL club is always in motion," he said.
"We feel it's a good result for the Broncos and also a good result for Tevita Pangai.
"He served this club brilliantly over his term here but we just feel like we need to shape our roster for 2022 and the time is right for that to happen."
Australian Associated Press