I'm ready for Origin: Holmes
Photo Source: AAP
Having spent 12 months in the State of Origin wilderness, Valentine Holmes has declared 2017 the year he wants to finally pull on a maroon jumper.
Holmes was blacklisted by Queensland management for the 2016 series after breaking curfew during an emerging squad training camp in Brisbane in February.
Holmes was one of eight players who weren't considered with the incident knocking him down the pecking order after Dane Gagai and Corey Oates established themselves on the wings in the Maroons' 2-1 series triumph.
However after starring in Cronulla's premiership campaign - where he scored 19 tries to equal David Peachey's club record - he's set his sights on playing on rugby league's biggest stage next year during the Maroons' title defence.
"Everyone wants to play for their state and country so it's definitely a goal of mine," Holmes said.
The 21-year-old Sharks star insists he didn't dwell on his Queensland selection ban during the year, arguing he was no certainty to be picked in just his third year of first grade.
Now with a finals series and grand final victory under his belt, he said he felt like the time was right for him to play representative footy.
"There's unbelievable wingers, fullbacks and centres in the game right now.," Holmes said.
"Dane Gagai scored three tries (in game two), Corey Oates is killing it and he played in a grand final last year so you can't go past him.
"If that didn't happen at the start of the year, I don't know if I would have got picked so I didn't dwell on it too much.
"I'm still young and I don't know if I would have been ready. I'm glad I've played in finals and a grand final on the big stage, I'm more confident."