Valentine Holmes ready to fight for Cronulla fullback spot

Matt Encarnacion Roar Guru

By , Matt Encarnacion is a Roar Guru

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    Cronulla star Valentine Holmes insists he is ready to fight off any plans new recruits Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan may have to steal his beloved fullback jumper.

    Holmes’ grip on the No.1 spot at the Sharks could be threatened after the Sharks last week unveiled the big-money signing of Moylan from Penrith.

    The former Panthers skipper is pencilled in to replace James Maloney at five-eighth, however coach Shane Flanagan has already spoken about Moylan’s value as a utility.

    “They signed Dugan as well. We’ve got some good depth there now and I’m not that concerned,” Holmes said.

    Holmes believes Dugan is a definite starter on the left edge for the departed Jack Bird, while Moylan will also feature on the same edge as the No.6.

    “It’s definitely a new combination there and with Jimmy (Maloney) gone we’ll need someone there on the left side,” Holmes said.

    “We’ll see how we go with that and how we form combinations there, I think Dugan will jump straight into Birdy’s spot, I would assume so. But we’ll see what Flanno chooses.

    “That’s what I’d like to think but he’s the coach and makes the calls, so we’ll see what he says.”

    The Sharks’ recruitment of Dugan and Moylan gives Flanagan options at the crucial fullback spot should Holmes fail to flourish in his new role.

    The Kangaroos representative had a mixed season in his first stint as custodian, scoring just six tries compared to 19 during their premiership season in 2016.

    Holmes said he was using the Rugby League World Cup campaign alongside veteran Billy Slater to bring his game to another level.

    He played his first game as Kangaroos fullback in last week’s win over Lebanon.

    “I’ve learnt a lot from him, just how he is at training, how he talks in defence, how he organises the defence,” Holmes said.

    “That’s one of the major things I want to work on. You win games if you defend well and obviously we did a really good job there to keep (Lebanon) to zero.

    “It sort of helps when you’ve got the best players in the game, they sort of know where to be and where to go, so it sort of makes my job a bit easier.

    “But Slater helped me earlier in the week with my defensive structure and where to put the boys, so that was a great help.”