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Coates seals Storm deal, Broncos to hit market with Hynes a target

Brisbane will go to market in search of a top-flight outside back after Melbourne trumped their last-ditch bid, as well as the Titans' late offer, to sign Xavier Coates on a two-year deal.

Conjecture over his future beyond this season has finally been put to bed with the Storm announcing his signing, on a deal understood to be worth around $500,000 annually, until the end of 2023.

Brisbane had set aside a similar $500,000 figure for Coates, and will now enter the player market to bolster their backline stocks.

NRL.com understands the Broncos have expressed interest in Storm utility Nicho Hynes among several rival clubs, with the utility back impressing at fullback in recent weeks with Ryan Papenhuyzen out injured.

Melbourne's tight salary cap has the club facing an uphill retention battle for  Hynes and co-captain Dale Finucane, with the prospect of a starting spot elsewhere in the NRL an obvious lure for the Central Coast product.

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The Broncos have Jamayne Isaako filling the No.1 jersey, though his ability to switch to the flank has the club considering wingers and fullbacks in the market.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters confirmed to Wide World of Sports on Sunday that the club would target a replacement recruit with Coates the latest addition to a list of lost local products that includes Reece Walsh, Sam Walker and David Fifita.

"Everyone is really aware of his talents. He's a young guy who's been in our system for three or four years now and to lose him it's not great for the Broncos," Walters said.

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"But we respect Xavier's decision to move on and we wish him the best.

"Wingers are an important part of today's game and we'll go to market and we'll move on."

With the Storm and Titans circling with two-year offers, Brisbane's new CEO Dave Donaghy met with Coates management on Friday in an effort to keep the 20-year-old at Red Hill.

The Gold Coast made similar moves of late with a bumped offer of their own, which was understood to be worth around $500,000 a year.

The Broncos as well were willing to match rival contracts tabled to the youngster, having long made him a retention priority alongside Kotoni Staggs, who on Wednesday re-signed until the end of 2025.

However Coates told his Broncos teammates after Saturday's agonising 19-18 loss to North Queensland that he would leave at the end of the season.

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"The Broncos are a great club and they have played a huge role in helping me get to where I am today," Coates said in a Broncos statement.

"This was a really hard decision to make but I promise that I will give my best for the Broncos, my teammates and our fans every moment for the rest of the year."

Melbourne football manager Frank Ponissi hailed Coates as one of the game's rising stars in the Storm's announcement of his deal, which means the Queensland winger will replace Bulldogs-bound flyer Josh Addo-Carr next season.

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"Xavier has already shown he is one of the best young wingers in the game, but at just 20 years of age there is still plenty more he can achieve and develop in his game," Ponissi said.

"He was a player who was always on our radar, with his connections with Storm going back to his junior days when he was part of the Easts Academy aligned with Storm.

"We know there were a number of clubs interested in signing Xavier, but he was very keen to experience what Storm has to offer."