Cowboys to test Holmes before No.1 move

North Queensland fullback Valentine Holmes will be tested in the No.1 jersey in the club's NRL trials in February.

VALENTINE HOLMES of the Kangaroos is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final between the Australian Kangaroos and England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
VALENTINE HOLMES of the Kangaroos is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final between the Australian Kangaroos and England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

North Queensland coach Paul Green will play Valentine Holmes in the No.1 jersey in at least one of the club's two pre-season trials as a final test of his transition from NFL training back to the NRL.

The 24-year-old former Australia and Queensland custodian has not played a professional rugby league game as a fullback since the 2018 finals with Cronulla.

Speaking on Thursday, Green said he is concerned about how Holmes will handle the switch between the two codes and could consider easing him in to the NRL season on the wing if need be.

"There is that option there, so we'll see how he goes," Green said.

"My biggest concern was how he would handle the transition back into NRL which is a bit different to NFL and he's handled the training well.

"We've got two trials before the season proper so we'll just see how he's going."

The Cowboys will play Brisbane in Cairns on February 22 and Melbourne in Cranbourne East on February 29.

Although Green was not tempted to unleash Holmes at the NRL Nines in Perth on Friday and Saturday, he has named a strong squad including Jason Taumalolo, Josh McGuire and Coen Hess.

The Cowboys claimed the inaugural Nines tournament in Auckland back in 2014 and have made the play-offs of each tournament since.

"You want to go and do well there but I think everyone in the back of their minds still knows they're preparing for the main part of the season which is the 13-a-side," Green said of the boost a Nines title gives a club.

"There's some positives you can take out of it. It gives you confidence, it's a good boost to go away in a camp-type environment and spend a bit of time together and winning always is better than losing."