SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Chad Townsend of the Sharks celebrates kicking a field goal with team mate Valentine Holmes during the NRL Semi Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A well known column offered up it’s annual predictions over the weekend, which raised the possibility of Valentine Holmes returning to the Sharks.

The ‘prediction’ matches the general thoughts of most rugby league fans, in that the NFL-bound former Shark has a big mountain to climb.

If he does not make an NFL roster in early 2019 he can return to the game, but only to his former club Cronulla as part of his release deal.

Given that the Sharks have just signed Shaun Johnson on a contract likely on par or more lucrative than the one Holmes walked away from, the smart money is on Holmes not having the safety net of a big contract to return to.

The mentioned ‘deal’ would be a ten-week deal, if the Sharks were in final’s contention, similar to that allowed by the NRL when Jarryn Hayne returned to the game for the Titans.

There is no suggestion of there being any truth to this, as Holmes is very confident in his journey, while the Sharks may have no interest. But as usual, when anything Shark related pops up, my direct messages light up.

So Sharks fans, if Valentine Holmes were to fall short in his huge goal to gain an NFL roster spot, would you be happy for him to return to the club in a short-term capacity?

First of all, I can’t imagine NRL fans of other teams being to happy with the current QLD and Australian winger coming into a side just a few months before the final’s series. That said, if the Sharks have the salary cap space, there is nothing stopping them from signing Holmes.

For mine, if there were any chance of Holmes returning to the club short-term, I’m rolling out the red carpet.

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Yes Holmes left the club in the lurch by announcing his intentions to move away from the game very late on.

I’d probably be a little more annoyed at Holmes if we hadn’t used his money to sign a player who I believe improves our chances of a title tilt in Shaun Johnson.

I’d also likely be more annoyed if Holmes wasn’t a huge part of the 2016 Premiership winning side, or if he wasn’t literally our best player in 2018.

Full disclosure I’m still not thrilled at the way Holmes left the club.

The club was caught off guard by Holmes very late announcement. The fact they, and the fans and players, had to find out via media reports was the kicker.

Holmes should have been up front, months ago, allowing the Sharks a chance to replace him.

Sure, the Sharks got lucky in that Johnson became available within a week of the Holmes release, but normally that doesn’t happen.

I can see why Sharks fans would be angry and would not want Holmes walking back in.

Paul Gallen’s comments summed up a lot of what Sharks fans and players were thinking.

There’s no doubt that Holmes returning would lead to fractured relationships but you can’t tell me that every player in every NRL side are best buddies.

I’m 100 per cent certain Paul Gallen would welcome Holmes back with open arms.

I’d also expect the large majority of Sharks fans to do exactly the same.

There have been arguments that Jarryd Hayne became a distraction during the Titans run to the finals. This I absolutely agree with, but the circumstances could not be more different.

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Hayne is a huge figure. Wherever he went, in any side, he was the main man.

He also came into a set side with their key positions settled and playing well. His returning to fullback, a position that was well beyond his level of fitness at the same, was disruptive.

Few will forget that field goal he kicked before yelling “this is my house” but apart from that …

Holmes would come back and be shot straight out onto the wing.

With all due respect to the likes of Feki and Katoa, if Holmes were available, he’s the first choice winger. Not just for the Sharks, but literally any rugby league side in the world.

He wouldn’t come back into fullback unless there were injuries.

No, or minimal disruption.

He’s also not been out of the game for a long period. Whereas Hayne completely re shaped his body to match the challenges of being an NFL running back, Holmes would have only been working for eight-or-so months. We’ll make it nine for argument sake.

Holmes isn’t going to put on 10 kilos of muscle or re-shape his body in that time. He’ll work on explosiveness and should pack on some size, but nothing a few games on the wing won’t fix.

Unless Katoa and Feki are each leading the Dally M race from the wing, there is no chance I wouldn’t literally drive to the airport to pick up Holmes on his way to training.

They may say otherwise but I can’t see, if it ever got series, that any other fan of the club would have any trouble cheering on a man who improves our title credentials in a big way.


  1. The timing of his departure look very suspicious to me. I hope he wasn’t involved in the salary cap issue.

    • How’s he have anything to do with it.? Just like the Eagles .. Sharks rorted the cap.. I’d be looking at Lyall Gorman as the mastermind.. Isn’t it ironic he’s now the CEO of the Manly Seagulls?

  2. The conspiracy theorists will undoubtedly have their say on the timing of this bloke’s departure. Garbage of course and Cronulla fans don’t give a hoot about what others think or say. The guy is just perhaps a little immature, hence the dream thing without it being totally achievable. I would welcome him back at any time as there’s no doubt he improves the club’s title tilt ( and it would really p^ss the club’s haters off as a bonus). There is already a very competitive roster in place with the addition of Johnson. Holmes was going to NQ in 2020 so sharks fans were preparing for an expected departure and totally get that he want’s to go back home. That’s footy and business so no biggie there. As for Gal and his comments, they were probably fair enough at the time with the nature of Holmes’ departure situation. As a one club man he would be a bit bitter. A bit awkward between the two for a start if Holmes returned but soon put aside for the footy. Thing is Holmes would have to expect a greatly reduced salary after the Johnson contract and only has a choice of playing for Cronulla or sitting the season out on a NQ beach sinking xxxx. He could play for a club that genuinely has a chance of another title or take the soft option should his dream not come to fruition as many of us suspect.

    • Actually Cronulla needs to pay what his contract was for 2019 if they can’t he’ll sign with North Queensland like he alwAys was..

      • If I recall he was on about $800K for 2019 and Cronulla should only have to pay him pro rata for the games he is available for. Hence the much reduced salary mentioned above. It was his choice to leave, not the club’s, therefore any contract payments for a part season should be to the club’s advantage. That arrangement needs to be lodged with the NRL and would mean he will probably fit under the salary cap even with Johnson there.

  3. sharks would nt fit him in there cap , more than likely he would return home 2 north Queensland ,but again they mybe called the perth sharks

    • I believe he will fail in the game they play on a Gridiron. Therefore he will return some time during the 2019 season. Now he should not get any special treatment from the NRL on his return to Cronulla. If he his contract was 500k and he returns with half a season left then the NRL need to make sure he is contracted for the remainder of the season on half of that. I believe he should not be allowed to return after the June 30 dead line, that’s if they still have a dead line. Otherwqise the Roosters should be allowed to sign Sonny Will Billions with two rounds before the semis for 100k🎱🎯🎱🎯🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱

      • I wouldn’t let him return at all in 2019. He made his choice and should stick it out for that year doing whatever apart from league. You can’t just come back waltzing in whenever you feel like it. Makes a joke of the whole salary cap system particularly if he signs up after 30 june or just before finals. The NRL need to have learnt something after the Hayne fiasco surely.

    • Intelligent contribution to the question. No doubt the club you follow is totally beyond reproach. Unfortunately for people such as yourself the sharks are resilient and now have money. (unlike a few other clubs) They’ve demonstrated solvency for 2019 and a few years ahead, so Perth is certainly not happening and can be dropped from ignorant comments

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