Oates hurt by father-in-law's Origin snub
(AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Dinner with the in-laws can be awkward for some.
But Corey Oates took uncomfortable table conversation to another level when he ribbed his father-in-law Gene Miles - the Queensland selectors boss - about his Maroons snub at a family meal.
Oates' 14 months in State of Origin limbo are over after the lanky Brisbane winger was recalled by an injury-hit Maroons backline for Wednesday's game three at Suncorp Stadium.
He played the last of his four Origins in Queensland's record 28-4 game one loss last year.
However, Oates thought he was a chance of returning for this year's series opener in Melbourne - only to be overlooked by Maroons selectors Miles, Darren Lockyer and coach Kevin Walters.
The 23-year-old was "hurt" by the call and couldn't help have a cheeky dig at Miles when he next saw the selectors boss at the family dinner table.
"I try to make it (family dinner conversation with Miles) awkward sometimes," Oates smiled.
"I had a little joke about it (with Miles) but we moved on pretty quick. I don't make too much fuss about it."
But Oates admits at first the Maroons snub was no laughing matter.
"I let it get to me too much (missing) the first game, that's a lesson I had to learn pretty quickly - it hurt but I had to move on," Oates said.
"I am usually a pretty happy person but I was pretty quiet that week (after game one snub) and it showed in the game against Melbourne (round 14).
"I didn't play that great. It just shows if you have an off week there is always a reason behind it."
Selectors went with Cronulla flyer Valentine Holmes on the left wing for the first two games this year and that didn't look like changing for Origin III despite NSW sealing their second series win in 13 years.
However, Maroons skipper Greg Inglis broke his thumb in South Sydney's NRL win over North Queensland on Sunday, forcing a last-minute Queensland backline reshuffle for the dead rubber.
Holmes was slotted into the right wing, Oates on the left and Dane Gagai replaced Inglis in the centres.
"It's something I am proud of. I did learn from dropping my head down against Melbourne," Oates said of his Origin return.
"I have matured as a player and playing more consistent football."
Dinner with the in-laws is less awkward too, no doubt.
© AAP 2018