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New faces to ignite Qld in Origin: Holmes

3 minute read

Valentine Holmes says Queensland will be a different team in the 2022 State of Origin series as they try to avenge last year's humbling.

BILLY SLATER.
BILLY SLATER. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Valentine Holmes insists he doesn't need to look back at last year's State of Origin drubbing for motivation ahead of the 2022 series.

Instead, he only has to glance across the North Queensland dressing room to draw inspiration from his in-form Cowboys' teammates as proof that this will be a new Queensland team with a fresh attitude.

Last year's Origin series was without doubt one of the most disappointing in Queensland's history.

They were handed a record flogging in Holmes' home town of Townsville, and surrendered a series at Suncorp Stadium for the first time in 17 years.

And while they won a dead rubber, Holmes does not believe there will be an encore viewing of those first two defeats for motivation.

Instead, this is a new Queensland.

Billy Slater is now coach and Cameron Smith is his assistant, with Johnathan Thurston and Josh Hannay two of the few returnees on the staff.

Even Holmes himself is in a different role, expecting to line up at centre after forming part of the Cowboys' run to the top four in Townsville.

"I reckon new coach, new group, new coaching staff," Holmes said.

"I think Billy's thought process will be to wipe it. It's a new year. It's going to be a new way we play.

"Obviously everyone knows the way last year went so there's no need to bring that up.

"It'll be about the new boys coming through. I wouldn't want to listen or talk about last year."

Holmes expects at least some of those new boys to be familiar faces.

The Cowboys could have up to five players involved, with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Murray Taulagi options for a wing spot, Holmes a certainty and Jeremiah Nanai and Reuben Cotter both strong chances to earn a Maroons call-up.

Cotter in particular would look at home on the bench, given his energy in the middle and versatility to play different roles.

Cowboys coach Todd Payten declared on Friday night that Cotter would tackle a goal post if needed for Queensland.

"He's the perfect fit for Origin level," Holmes said.

"He's pretty much the perfect mould for what Origin is all about. He's tough, tenacious he can play 80 (minutes), he can play several positions.

"He's a true Queenslander ... he'd definitely deserve that jersey if he does get selected."

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