Players during their career spending time in the backs and forwards is nothing new, off the top of my head at the Broncos Gene Miles, Darren Smith, Tonie Carroll, Michael Hancock and even Wendall Sailor had a stint in the forwards, Wally spent a lot of time in his junior career playing lock before making the switch to 5/8th and later on the Broncos shifted him to lock. Hell Civoniceva spent time as a centre before playing for the Broncos. I don't see Oates as a forward playing in the backs, I see a player who is adaptive in playing both in backs and the forwards, which really isn't a stretch with the right body build. If Oates wants to play strictly in the forwards its upto him to put his case forward he needs to make a strong case that the side will benefit more from him in the forwards then the backs at present. Which is a tough argument to make with the quality of competition around him there, you also have to make sure your not hurting his previous position in the process, you don't want to end up worse off there.