Holmes has eyes on Slater's Qld No.1
Valentine Holmes of the Maroons runs with the ball during Game 2 of the 2018 State of Origin series between the NSW Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
One of the great State of Origin debuts by Kalyn Ponga has not dented Valentine Holmes' desire to claim the Queensland No.1 jersey next year.
Veteran fullback Billy Slater will play his 31st and final Origin for Queensland in Wednesday's game three clash in Brisbane.
Young gun Ponga - just 20 - appeared to already have the inside running as Slater's replacement after his stunning debut off the bench in Queensland's game two loss in Sydney.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters has all but guaranteed Ponga will play the 2019 series opener after the Newcastle fullback was ruled out of game three with a hamstring injury.
"He has shown us what he can do at this level. We look forward to seeing Kalyn in game one next year," Walters said.
But Cronulla flyer Holmes has not given up on taking over the No.1 jersey from Slater next year.
"I definitely want to try and make it mine," Holmes said.
"It's going to be a big goal for next year.
"(But) there are a few fullbacks who are playing really well at the moment - Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers) and Kalyn is playing awesome.
"I just want to be in the team somewhere."
In the meantime, Holmes is getting his head around where he fits into the current Maroons backline.
The Sharks speedster has been switched from the left to the right wing for game three after a backline reshuffle triggered after captain Greg Inglis' broke his thumb.
He will link with centre Will Chambers in a bid to try and stop winger Josh Addo-Carr and centre Latrell Mitchell, who have both scored in the opening two games.
"I have to build a combination with Chambers and let him do what he does," Holmes said.
"He's pretty good there, puts some kicks in when he can and he's got some flick passes - I have to be aware of what he can do."
Holmes may have eyes on the No.1 jersey but the Cronulla X-factor has been a huge success on the wing for Queensland, scoring six tries in just four Origins to date.
© AAP 2018