Val pon­ders new No.1 home

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - T RAVIS MEYN

THE Cow­boys have held se­cret talks with Valen­tine Holmes as the Ma­roons star de­clared he wanted to play full­back per­ma­nently.

The Sun­day Tele­graph can re­veal North Queens­land hi­er­ar­chy have iden­ti­fied Holmes as a po­ten­tial longterm No. 1 at the club. Holmes grew up in Townsville but was snapped up by Cronulla where he has de­vel­oped into a Test and Ori­gin winger.

The 22-year-old will make his third ap­pear­ance for Queens­land on the left wing in Wed­nes­day’s Ori­gin series opener at the MCG. Holmes is con­tracted to the Sharks un­til the end of 2019 and has an op­tion in his favour to re­main at Cronulla in 2020.

How­ever, the Cow­boys have emerged as a con­tender for his sig­na­ture af­ter sound­ing out Holmes ear­lier this year. Premier­ship-win­ning full­back Lach­lan Coote is no cer­tainty to re­main at the Cow­boys beyond this sea­son and Holmes’ man­ager, Gavin Orr, said the Cronulla flyer had at­tracted in­ter­est from ri­val clubs.

“Val has in­ter­est,” he said. “The Sharks are look­ing to ex­tend his cur­rent con­tract but if we don’t do that, Val will go on to the open mar­ket come the 1st of Novem­ber.

“The Cow­boys are most def­i­nitely an op­tion. He is from Townsville, his fam­ily is from there and his part­ner has fam­ily in the re­gion.

“If Val left, that would be the ob­vi­ous club, but we’ll see what takes place with the Sharks. He would love to play full­back on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and that will be a con­sid­er­a­tion when Val weighs up his fu­ture.”

Holmes has thrown his hand up to re­place re­tir­ing Ma­roons No. 1 Billy Slater and said his am­bi­tion was to prove he was a long-term full­back.

“I want to master that at club level first, it’s def­i­nitely the po­si­tion I want to play,” he said.

Queens­land’s Valen­tine Holmes.

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