Holmes return huge for Maroons: Walters
Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes the return of Valentine Holmes (pictured) has the potential to turn the State of Origin tide (AAP Image/Michael Chambers)
Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes the return of Valentine Holmes has the potential to turn the State of Origin tide back to the Maroons.
Walters, still stinging from Queensland's losses to NSW in the past two Origin series, says the importance of Holmes' return to rugby league after his year-long NFL sojourn can't be overstated.
"He has shown at Origin level, with how many tries he has scored at different opportunities that he has presented himself," Walters told reporters at the launch of the three-game series in Adelaide on Tuesday.
"He's an instinct player and often that is what wins Origin games, is instinct."
Walters, speaking at Adelaide Oval where game one will be played on June 3, was bullish about Holmes' impact on the Queensland squad both on and off the field.
"I had a couple of chats (with him) before Christmas and also last weekend," Walters said.
"He looks in great nick. He's a very positive, and a very influential person as well.
"I am particularly excited about his combination with Michael Morgan at the (North Queensland) Cowboys.
"They were disappointing last year, the Cowboys, and they'll be looking to bounce back.
"He (Holmes) is a magnificent acquisition for the Cowboys.
"It will help Michael Morgan's game, which will help the Cowboys, which will help Queensland and that's very exciting from my point of view."
Walters is off-contract as Maroons coach in 2020 but has triggered a clause asking for an extension.
The Queensland Rugby League met last week with chairman Bruce Hatcher hinting Walters' request would be granted. A decision is likely by the end of next month.
"I'm not too concerned about it, to be honest," Walters said.
"I know that what we're doing at this level is some really good stuff.
"Our underage teams are coming through, (there is) some great talent coming through the Queensland Maroons.
"And I feel very privileged to be part of it in the position that I have.
"I'm very excited for the future and what it holds not only for myself but also for the Queensland State of Origin team."
After Adelaide's series-opener, game two will be played in Sydney on June 21 with game three in Brisbane on July 8.
© AAP 2020