Qld's Oates like Sailor, Tuqiri: Slater

Laine Clark
Corey Oates (pictured) best serves Queensland on the wing says Billy Slater

Frustrated back-rower Corey Oates has earned comparisons with Queensland wingers Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri ahead of his State of Origin return.

Stand-in Maroons skipper Billy Slater gave a compelling case for Oates to stay in the backline, saying the Brisbane star reminded him of the Maroons' giant wingers of the past.

Oates has been welcomed back by the Maroons for Wednesday night's Origin III in Brisbane, slotting on to the left wing in a backline reshuffle caused by centre Greg Inglis (broken thumb).

But Oates complained upon his arrival at Camp Maroon that he had become frustrated on the wing and wanted to become a back-rower.

Slater had no problem unleashing Oates in his new-look back-line, saying the lanky 23-year-old was cut from the same mould as ex-Broncos Sailor and Tuqiri.

In the re-shuffle, Cronulla flyer Valentine Holmes was moved from left to right wing with Dane Gagai shifting into the centres for Inglis.

"He is a different winger to Dane and Valentine but he brings a lot of power," Slater said.

"He is a big guy and hopefully he can get our sets off to a really good start.

"I have seen big wingers play Origin before - Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri.

"When he has had the opportunity before he has delivered. It's good to see Oatesy get another chance."

Oates played the last of his four Origins in game one last year.

Slater also backed under fire centre Will Chambers to respond in Origin III after a running battle with NSW's Latrell Mitchell.

Chambers has been out-pointed this series in a lively and sometimes spiteful niggling act with the powerful Mitchell, who is aiming to become the third Blue to score a try in all three matches of a series.

It had led to calls for 30-year-old Chambers to be cut for Origin III and for Queensland to look to the future after NSW won their second series in 13 years.

"I disagree with that (calls for Chambers to be axed)," Slater said.

"I know Will pretty well. He's a fantastic player, one of the best centres in the game.

"I am sure he will respond really well (on Wednesday)."