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Holmes to earn rep redemption

Valentine Holmes will make his Australian Test debut against New Zealand in Perth on Saturday.
Valentine Holmes will make his Australian Test debut against New Zealand in Perth on Saturday.
Photo Source: AAP

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Valentine Holmes will gain representative rugby league redemption when he makes his Australian Test debut against New Zealand in Perth on Saturday.

Cronulla premiership winner Holmes was banned from Queensland selection this year after breaking curfew at an emerging State of Origin camp in January.

He was subsequently involved in an incident that resulted in a fine for obstructing police and public nuisance.

But his season will come full circle when he makes his representative debut on the left wing for coach Mal Meninga's Kangaroos against the Kiwis at nib Stadium.

And Holmes will take the place of Semi Radradra, who has been overlooked for Four Nations selection due to alleged off-field indiscretions of his own.

Meninga is yet to name his team, but Holmes is assured of a spot, after Josh Mansour withdrew from the Perth Test to get married.

Australian and Queensland five-eighth Johnathan Thurston said he was impressed by the way Holmes had turned his season around.

"He would have been disappointed with his actions earlier in the year," Thurston said.

"But he has put that behind him now and has played some really good football this year for the Sharkies.

"He has won a premiership and now he is on the cusp of making his debut for Australia, so it has been a big 12 months for him.

"We are confident if he does get the call up that he will do a job for us."

Holmes will have to move from his position on the right wing with Cronulla to play on the left for the Kangaroos but Thurston, who plays on Australia's left side, said that wouldn't be a problem.

Australian halfback Cooper Cronk also felt Holmes had done well to rebound from his early season dramas.

"He had a few hiccups at the start of the year but he has served his suspension as such," Cronk said.

"He was in red-hot form towards the back end of the year and has put forward a good case for selection."

Holmes was on the left wing in Australia's first training session at the University of Western Australia on Monday afternoon. Justin O'Neill filled in for the absent Greg Inglis, who was attending the birth of his daughter, at left centre.

Centre Josh Dugan and winger Blake Ferguson will continue their right side combination in the clash with the Kiwis.

Shannon Boyd also looks set to earn his Kangaroos debut, probably starting at prop, while Trent Merrin will play lock in his return to the Australian side.

NSW and St George Illawarra back-rower Tyson Frizell will likely make his Test debut from the Kangaroos bench.

Australia had a day off on Tuesday. They will hold their main training session on Wednesday.

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