Bennett wants no-frills Holmes for Maroons

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

Queensland coach Wayne Bennett has implored incoming fullback Valentine Holmes not to overplay his hand upon his return to State of Origin.

Holmes will make his first Origin appearance since departing rugby league to attempt to forge a career in the NFL in 2018 in Wednesday's pivotal clash at ANZ Stadium.

The Maroons can seal a series win with a victory in game two in what will be Holmes' first game in the No.1 jersey for his state after eight appearances on the wing.

The 25-year-old, who was suspended for last week's series opener in Adelaide, hasn't played since North Queensland's NRL season finale against Brisbane on September 24.

With that in mind, Bennett is hopeful Holmes doesn't try too much, too soon upon his return to interstate football.

"We all know what a good athlete he is and we've seen him play some really good football as well but his problem is he hasn't played for six weeks," Bennett said.

"If he keeps it simple it'll be his best chance. If he tries to overplay stuff it won't help us."

Holmes is coming in for Gold Coast youngster AJ Brimson, who impressed on debut in game one but has since been ruled out of the series due to a foot injury.

Bennett believes if Holmes sticks to the template used by Brimson at Adelaide Oval, it'll go a long way to ensuring the Maroons fly back to Queensland on Wednesday night with the series all wrapped up.

"He just needs to be that guy out there that you need at fullback like AJ was last week," the veteran coach said.

"He played mistake-free and had a wonderful game and that's all you want him to do.

"The rest they can do pretty well if they get half an opportunity."