From doghouse to penthouse for young Maroons
THE “Valley Eight” are now the Super Six, ready to lead Queensland to Origin glory.
Six of the eight promising players embroiled in last year’s Emerging Origin camp curfew controversy have graduated to Maroons jerseys this series.
Debutant Cameron Munster and Test flyer Valentine Holmes will unite for the first time in the Origin arena since becoming caught up in the Fortitude Valley drama.
Holmes attracted the attention of police that night but he has transformed into Queensland’s most marked man on the wing with his freakish play.
After being confirmed as Johnathan Thurston’s replacement in the No. 6 jersey, Munster will link up with Holmes on Queensland’s left edge.
And Holmes said they were ready to put last year’s drama behind them and begin a new era of Queensland dominance.
“We are all good,” Holmes said. “He is definitely in the team now ( after being 18th man for Game Two) and I’m very happy for him.
“I’m excited for him. I can’t wait to play alongside him.
Any friction between last year’s banned players has dis- solved with coach Kevin Walters blooding Anthony Milford, Jarrod Wallace, Dylan Napa, Holmes and now Ben Hunt and Munster this series.
Holmes, 21, put his Origin omission behind him last year to win the NRL premiership with Cronulla and make his Test debut for the Kangaroos.
And without that discipline he believes he may never have reached the heights he did.
“It’s definitely been a learning curve for myself and most of the players,” he said.
Walters has been one of Hunt’s greatest supporters, working closely with the Broncos halfback during Brisbane’s grand final season of 2015.
“He is a big part of getting me to where I am now and I am appreciative of that and that he’s given me the chance,” Hunt said.