New Melbourne Storm recruit Xavier Coates needs no reminding of the heavy weight the purple jersey carries, but is adamant he’s ready to “make my own legacy” ahead of the 2022 NRL season.
Coates was recruited by the Storm midway through the 2021 season after it was confirmed Josh Addo-Carr would be making the switch to the Canterbury Bulldogs next year.
Addo-Carr was a revelation for the Victorian side, scoring 96 tries across 118 games as the Blacktown-born speedster constantly terrorised his opposite numbers.
But Coates, who at age 20 has already represented Queensland on five occasions, isn’t thinking about filling the boots of Addo-Carr, or indeed anyone who has played on the wing for the Storm.
It’s all about growing as a player and a person at a club which has been a force to be reckoned with almost every season.
“The main thing I came down here for is to improve myself,” Coates said. “I didn’t really think about what the other people had done.
“Obviously I know the Storm has built a legacy on the players that pull on the jersey, and you have to respect that.
Camera IconNew Melbourne Storm winger Xavier Coates. Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia
“But I want to make my own legacy, and I want to improve certain aspects that will help the team on the field.
“Fingers crossed if I do have a good pre-season I can pull on that purple jersey, but there’s a lot of hard work I have to do before that.”
Coates is joining a team that’s as tight-knit as they come.
The Storm embarked on a 19-game winning streak last season to equal the record of Jack Gibson’s Eastern Suburbs Roosters side of 1975, but fell one game short of yet another grand final appearance.
One major contributing factor to the incredible run of wins was bruising centre Justin Olam.
When Coates signed, Olam was one of many Storm players to get in touch with him, and the new recruit believes it epitomises why everyone raves about the people involved at the club.
“Justin’s been a real big help to me, especially when I signed,” Coates said.
“There was a few boys that messaged me and gave me a call, and Justin was one of them.
“He just said if I need anything, he’s there to talk. He’s helped me a lot, even just through social media messaging me, seeing how I’m doing.
“When I talk about the Melbourne Storm and the people they have, how good people they are, that just proves a point.
“As soon as I signed, the whole team messaged me saying they can’t wait for me to come down and get stuck into working with me.”Internet Explorer Channel Network