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Broncos' Oates in doubt for Storm NRL game

NZN 29/06/2017 Laine Clark

Brisbane winger Corey Oates is in doubt for Friday night's NRL clash with leaders Melbourne due to illness but Ben Hunt has been reinstated as starting halfback.

Oates missed training on Thursday with what is believed to be a virus and will be reassessed on game day, leaving Jonus Pearson on standby.

Coach Wayne Bennett said Oates woke up sore on Thursday morning and would be monitored but did not believe the fringe Queensland State of Origin winger would play.

"Something has affected his lower back, legs, groin. He just woke up with it today and was not real mobile so at this stage he is not playing," Bennett said.

"If he wakes up tomorrow morning feeling good we will play him but that doesn't look likely."

Hunt was named on the bench for the Storm clash but Bennett said the playmaker would start, pushing Kodi Nikorima to the bench.

After being relegated briefly to reserve grade, Hunt made a triumphant NRL return off the bench to inspire Brisbane's last-round win over Canberra.

Bennett said he would rotate Hunt and Nikorima over the coming weeks to try and find the best mix with veteran five-eighth Benji Marshall ahead of their top four push.

"I will probably keep rotating them around for a little while," he said.

"His (Hunt's) performance (last round) was as good as he has had in 18 months.

"We will try and maintain that.

"Benji has been doing a great job, Kodi has been good. In the next five to six weeks we will have to finalise on what our best 17 is and go from there."

Third placed Brisbane hope to notch their ninth win in 11 games while the Storm are aiming to bounce back from last round's golden point loss to Sydney Roosters and claim a seventh straight victory at Suncorp Stadium.

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