AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 13: Valentine Holmes of Australia celebrates after scoring a try during the international Rugby League Test Match between the New Zealand Kiwis and the Australia Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Just weeks ago he looked to be joining the increasing number of players opting to represent their home nations and smaller teams at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, but now North Queensland Cowboys centre Valentine Holmes has confirmed he’ll be available for coach Mal Meninga if required.

It was at the start of August that reports emerged suggesting Holmes was considering representing the Cook Islands, admitting that he’d spoken to coach Tony Iro about the chance to represent his mother’s birth-place.

But thanks in-part to a revitalising run home with the Cowboys through to the preliminary finals, Holmes has now seen fit to reaffirm his commitment to the green and gold.

READ: Every World Cup Squad as it's announced.

“I can’t turn my back on Australia,” Holmes told the Courier Mail.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Valentine Holmes of Australia makes a break to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

“I’m born in Australia, born in Townsville and I’ve played Origin for Queensland.

“For me, the right thing to do is put Australia first and if I do get selected by Mal, that’s awesome. If I don’t, then I’ll make myself available for Cook Islands.

“When the time comes, the right thing to do is represent Australia.”

The news is likely to be welcomed by Mal Meninga, with Holmes a strong candidate to walk into the squad after a stellar 2022 season that saw him finish atop the NRL’s point-scoring charts.

Even in the heartbreaking loss to the Eels he was influential, finishing the game with 148 attacking metres, a try assist, a line break and six tackle breaks.

He’s also the owner of an impressive record in the Kangaroos jumper, having scored 17 tries in 13 Test appearances already. Though he has only represented Australia on the wing, his proven ability at centre this year will likely give Meninga more options with his backline.

“Wearing the green and gold is really special,” Holmes admitted.

“I’ll always cherish my time in the Australian team because you don’t know if your next game for the Kangaroos will be your last.”