Munster in pivotal audition for Roos
“Fullback is my favourite position to play and eventually it is my goal to do – I’ve got a lot to prove first,” Holmes said.
“I don’t think I’m ready to play fullback for Queensland or Australia at the moment. There are some very good fullbacks who I am learning from.”
Holmes says Slater will provide many cues for him in how to maximise his potential as a fullback, with the Australians to play three pool games and as many as three sudden- death games.
“I see how he prepares for training and prepares games,” he said.
“I saw ( during the Origin series) how vocal he is from the back. It’s definitely something I’ll take in.
“He’s everywhere in a game, wants the ball a lot and knows where the defenders are. He knows where for the ball is going to be. I know how fast he is around the back. I’ve got some speed and would hope to base my game around that at the Sharks.”
As well as his athleticism, Holmes will catch the eye with dyed blond hair when he plays in two 40- minute trial matches in Fiji tonight against the local World Cup side and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s just a new look – I’ll probably get it cut out next week,” he said.
The Australian players say coach Mal Meninga is yet to address them on how freely he will rotate his 24- man squad through the World Cup matches. “I’m very excited to be playing in our homeland after playing in the Four Nations ( in England),” Holmes said.
“I just want to play more games than I sit out of and have us win the final. We don’t want to lose a game.” CAMERON Munster will get the first shot at the vacant No. 6 Australian jersey after Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga opted to rest a host of big names for his side’s only preWorld Cup hitout today.
Storm premiership winners Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Will Chambers, along with North Queensland finals hero Michael Morgan, have been rested from the three- way exhibition match against Fiji and PNG in Suva. The rest of the 24- man squad will play.
Munster will start in the halves alongside James Maloney with Meninga declaring the race to partner Cooper Cronk and the outside back spots the most wide open.
“The six position and our outside backs,” Meninga said of the spots most up for grabs.
“Who plays centre and who plays wing. Billy, Cooper and Smithy are fairly secure in their positions.”
Josh Mansour and Dane Gagai will start on the wing with Josh Dugan and Tom Trbojevic at centre. Valentine Holmes will start at fullback in place of Slater while Ben Hunt will wear the No. 9 jersey.
Meninga said Wade Graham and Josh McGuire will also spend time at dummy half.
The Kangaroos will use 19 players during their two 40 minute matches against PNG and Fiji. The likes of Jordan McLean, Regan Campbell- Gillard, Tom Trbojevic and Felise Kaufisi will wear the Australian jersey for the first time.
“We’ll treat it like a normal game,” Meninga said. “We have a starting team and a bench. It’s unlimited ( interchange). We’re still playing 80 minutes of rugby league.
“We’ll swap the players around. Everyone will get a fair chop on the game minuteswise.”
Australia play PNG first before finishing with Fiji.
VALENTINE HOLMES BLOND AMBITION: Valentine Holmes aims to one day play fullback for the Kangaroos.