Cowboys
Cowboys

Why Holmes isn’t the answer to Cowboys’ problems

Valentine Holmes has returned from the NFL faster than ever but Cowboys coach Paul Green has warned the Maroons star is not North Queensland's saviour.

Holmes has set a cracking pace in his first two weeks of training in Townsville following a one-year sojourn in the United States with the New York Jets.

The 24-year-old left the NRL at the end of the 2018 season as one of the code's biggest stars, with his scintillating pace and freakish try-scoring ability making him an excitement machine.

But Holmes had to transform his body during his gridiron dalliance, gaining weight to cope with the demands of a different sport.

Apart from having to acclimatise to a scorching Townsville summer, Holmes has not missed a beat since signing a six-year deal with the Cowboys late last month.

Green said the Queensland Origin star had returned bigger and faster and he had been impressed by his transition back to rugby league.

"He's certainly a professional," he said.

 

Valentine Holmes goes through his paces during Cowboys training. Picture: North Queensland Cowboys
Valentine Holmes goes through his paces during Cowboys training. Picture: North Queensland Cowboys

 

"He is a great athlete. He's been really good since he came in. He's fit in really well and is a world class athlete so that sticks out.

"He's coming from a winter (in New York) into a hot summer up here so we've had to ease him back into that.

"He might have been a couple of kilos heavier when he came back, but I reckon he's in good shape. The training he's done has added a little bit of speed to him.

"How that translates we won't know until he actually gets back on the paddock. He's probably not back to peak fitness yet but he's not far off."

 

Valentine Holmes smiles at the camera as he does some resistance training. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Valentine Holmes smiles at the camera as he does some resistance training. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

Holmes' fitness levels have been a welcome relief for Green given his marquee recruit for 2020 will be thrust into the fullback hot seat.

Wearing the No.1 jersey is regarded as one of the most physically demanding roles in rugby league, with fullbacks generally covering more ground than any other player.

After losing the 2017 grand final, the Cowboys have produced two poor seasons, finishing 13th in 2018 and falling further to 14th this year.

The acquisition of 105-game NRL representative Holmes is a coup for the Cowboys, but Green warned the Kangaroos gun could not drag the club back up the ladder on his own.

"He's another piece of the puzzle and I'm very happy to get him but if people think it's all on his shoulders for us to get some success next year they're going to be mistaken," he said.

"It's going to take a team effort.

"I don't want to make any big predictions about (how Holmes will go). He's certainly fitted in at training so far. He's done everything asked of him."

The Cowboys will train until Friday week before returning in the New Year to prepare for their Round 1 blockbuster clash against the Brisbane Broncos at the new Townsville Stadium.

News Corp Australia


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