Melbourne football boss Frank Ponissi has denied that Brisbane winger Xavier Coates has officially committed to the club.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that Coates had signed with the Storm from the 2022 season, but Ponissi told SEN 1170’s Drive with Joel and Fletch that he “wished” that were the case.
“No he hasn’t signed, I wish he had,” Ponissi said.
“We’re certainly, like a few other clubs are in there, and we hope he does sign for us.
“But, he’s got a big decision to make, whether he leaves the Broncos, and if he does there’s probably two or three clubs that are very much interested in him.
“We hope that he gives us consideration.
“I wish it was true, and we’re hopeful.
“But, he’s got a big decision to make and we’re just hoping like the rest of the clubs to be honest.
“But, he hasn’t signed for us at the moment, no.”
With Coates making his Origin debut aged 19 last season, Ponissi was asked when the last time the Storm signed a player who had previously earned state honours prior to joining the club.
“Michael Crocker, he was the last one and that was before my time in 2006,” he said.
“He was the last State of Origin player, and the last established first-grader we signed was Dale Finucane, but he hadn’t played rep footy at that stage.
“Dale was the last established player (in 2015) and Michael was the last rep player.
“If it does come off (with Coates) we’d be happy but there’s a lot of water to come under the bridge.”
After being spotted touring the Storm’s facilities over the weekend it is believed that Coates’ decision is imminent.
Listen to the full chat with Ponissi below.