Kevvie’s faith in Holmes

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - MATT LOGUE

QUEENS­LAND coach Kevin Wal­ters has pub­licly backed Valen­tine Holmes for a Ma­roons re­call amid sug­ges­tions the Sharks star could miss out on State of Ori­gin se­lec­tion.

Com­pe­ti­tion for the two wing spots, cou­pled with Holmes’ in­con­sis­tent form at NRL level this sea­son, prompted re­ports the Townsville-born flyer wouldn’t make Ori­gin.

The Ma­roons are flush with ex­pe­ri­enced wingers — in­clud­ing Dar­ius Boyd, Corey Oates and Dane Ga­gai.

This leaves Queens­land with a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for game one in Mel­bourne, but Wal­ters told The Sun­day Tele­graph Holmes was on track to be picked.

“I haven’t seen any­thing from Valen­tine to in­di­cate that he wouldn’t be part of what is hap­pen­ing this year with Ori­gin,” Wal­ters said.

“You can’t be at your best every week and he has had a few nights where he could have been bet­ter, but as Queens­lan­ders we like what he brings to the table.

“That is par­tic­u­larly the case at the high­est level. He is great for Cronulla but at Ori­gin level he brings a lot.”

Wal­ters said Holmes’ blis­ter­ing try-scor­ing form at Ori­gin and Test level was dif­fi­cult to ig­nore.

The Sharks speedster has scored 18 tries in 13 ap­pear­ances for Queens­land and Aus­tralia.

“Val’s per­for­mances in last year’s Ori­gin series and the World Cup with Aus­tralia are help­ing shape his rep­re­sen­ta­tive ca­reer and how good a player he can be,” he said.

“I know he has been a lot bet­ter with the Sharks in the last cou­ple of weeks, but he is a def­i­nite try scorer and he has great speed and that is what Ori­gin is all about.

“We don’t an­nounce the team ( un­til next week) and we’d hope that every­one, in­clud­ing Valen­tine, gets through.”

Holmes will play in his favoured full­back po­si­tion against Can­ter­bury to­day.

He has im­pressed in the No. 1 jumper, filling in for an in­jured Josh Du­gan ( frac­tured foot).

Holmes has also ben­e­fited from mo­ti­va­tional tar­gets set by half­back Chad Townsend.

“I’ve had a chat with him about a few things around tar­gets and chal­lenges, things like sup­port plays, and in­ject­ing your­self in the game, and he’s re­ally taken it on board,” Townsend said.

“I set him a target for 20 sup­port plays on the week­end and he got 28, so come Mon­day morn­ing, he was in my ear about it.

“I’m su­per proud of him and hope­fully he can keep dish­ing out per­for­mances like that, which­ever po­si­tion he plays in.

“With Duges (Du­gan) be­ing out, he got an op­por­tu­nity at the back and he’s re­ally taken it with both hands.

“He re­ally wants to learn the po­si­tion and do as best he can.”

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