Holmes to return to NRL for 2020: reports

Valentine Holmes is set to return to the NRL and take up a reported $1 million a year payday with the North Queensland Cowboys, according to reports.

The former Sharks star left rugby league in order to try his hand at the NFL and made the New York Jets squad as part of the International Player Pathways.

It comes after Latrell Mitchell reportedly met with Cowboys staff in Townsville and could leave the West Tigers as the front runners to nab the former Roosters star’s signature.

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The Courier Mail revealed Holmes was set to turn his back on the NFL and return to Australia to play for the Cowboys, with only a last-minute change of heart standing in the way of the deal.

Sun Herald columnist Danny Weidler reported over the weekend that Holmes’ manager Chris Orr would fly to New York to discuss the deal with Holmes.

It comes after belief that Mitchell would be used to “flush out” Holmes.

When asked by rugby league legend Laurie Daley if the Cowboys were trying to “flush out” Holmes via their public interest in Mitchell, Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio: “Yes. They’ve got a million dollars. At what point do you say it’s been in the bank now for a year, we’ve got to go spend it.

Valentine Holmes is looking back to the future.Source:AFP

It appears the play has worked if the reports turn out to be true.

The Wests Tigers are set to offer Mitchell a four-year $4 million deal to play fullback.

Mitchell had said he wanted to play for the Cowboys with his meeting with the Cowboys setting tongues wagging.

It all come to be after the Roosters withdrew their offer for an $800,000-a-year deal amid Mitchell’s insistence he wanted to play fullback, despite the premiers having reigning Dally M Medallist James Tedesco.

Cowboys club legend Johnathan Thurston said it would be ideal for North Queensland to finalise their roster as soon as possible so they can begin preparations for 2020 after finishing 14th last season.

“It’s a very complex situation. If Valentine’s NFL dream keeps going then Latrell would be a handy addition for the Cowboys,” Thurston said.

“If Latrell makes the decision to join the Cowboys then I don’t know where that leaves Val. If Latrell decides to move on to the Tigers, that leaves the door open for Val. They would both be new to the structures of the Cowboys and getting to learn those.

“While they are very smart footballers and would pick it up quickly, you need to spend some time with them to get to know those defensive and offensive structures. They’re both great footballers and can win a game on their own. To have either of them at the club would be a handy addition. To have both of them really puts the Cowboys in premiership contention.”

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