Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is trying to break into the NFL. Picture: Instagram
Former NRL star Valentine Holmes is trying to break into the NFL. Picture: Instagram

Time for the USA to meet Val Holmes

In a bid to satisfy increasing curiosity, the NFL has been forced to call a specially convened media conference on Friday to introduce rugby league star Val Holmes to around 30 million Americans.

Holmes' arrival in the US has created such interest that the NFL want him paraded in front of the US and Australian media while he attends the NFL International Pathway program in Florida.

Local sources claim it is unbelievably rare for a player who has never previously played NFL to be given his own personal media conference.

The giant US Fox Sports network will attend as will a number of other powerful American media outlets.

The former Queensland champion's massive exposure will come just four days out from the NFL Super Bowl, to be played this year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Holmes will be a nobody no more.

Holmes has been hard at work in a bid to make the NFL. Picture by Brett Costello
Holmes has been hard at work in a bid to make the NFL. Picture by Brett Costello

The Daily Telegraph has obtained an NFL email sent to media outlets providing information on Holmes.

It reads: "Thank you for your interest in the NFL International Player Pathway Program, and in particular the progress that Valentine Holmes is making in his conversion from rugby league to the NFL.

"Next Thursday, January 31st, we will be holding a media day for you and other media to observe and film Valentine and his peers practising at the IMG Academy at 5650 Bollettieri Blvd, Bradenton, Florida 34210.

"The schedule for next Thursday will be as follows:

Arrival/check-in at IMG Academy by 10:30am ET;

Practice - IMG Academy Football Field - 11am-12:30pm ET,

Media availability IMG Academy Football Field - 12:35-1pm ET;

One-on-on interview opportunities - 7-8:30pm ET (location TBD)."

Will Holmes land a deal?
Will Holmes land a deal?

The letter was signed by NFL media representative Henry Hodgson and Charles Mule, IMG Academy media manager.

Well-placed sources have predicted the media conference would reach between 25 to 30 million American sports fans.

"I have had a million people chasing me for different interviews with Val," said Holmes manager, Chris Orr. "Journalists have obviously been calling through to the NFL as well.

"So the NFL has decided to post a media day just for Val Holmes. There is plenty of talk about Val."

Holmes continues to work and train eight hours a day, six days at the IMG Academy.

The work is painful, long, grinding and punishing - the ex-NRL fullback though remains determined to secure his NFL dream.

Holmes has been one of the top players in the NRL in recent years. AAP Image/Daniel Pockett.
Holmes has been one of the top players in the NRL in recent years. AAP Image/Daniel Pockett.

"He has already jumped a few weeks ahead of where they thought he would be," Orr said. "Val will be at the IMG until the first week of April.

"From there, there are two pathways for him. There is a combine where all clubs will attend. Clubs can pick up him up there and then. Alternatively, the NFL can assign him onto a club."

Orr said it was too early to predict which NFL franchise may consider signing Holmes.

After last year's combine, fellow Australian Jordan Mailata was invited to work out at nine different clubs.

Mailata flew around America for a week.

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