Cowboys up ante in selling Holmes
JORDAN McLean has two weeks to help sell the Cowboys as the home for Valentine Holmes from 2020.
McLean and Holmes played for Australia's World Cup team last year and the Cowboys want Holmes when his Cronulla contract ends at the end of next year.
"I think Michael Morgan has been doing most of that as their partners are sisters,'' McLean said on Sunday when Australia went into camp in Brisbane for their two Tests this month, against New Zealand and Tonga.
"They are pretty good mates. It would be nice to have him up there. He's a quality player.''
Former Cronulla fullback Ben Barba is joining North Queensland on a one-year deal, leaving salary cap room for the Cowboys to sign Holmes for 2020 if he wishes to again live in North Queensland.
"He (Barba) can bring a bit of X-factor to the Cowboys next year,'' McLean said. "I'm sure him and Morgs will link up well with young Jake Clifford. He can slot right in there.''
McLean made the Test squad for the two Tests in Auckland, starting with Saturday's clash against New Zealand, despite an injury-hit year.
"I find myself very fortunate to be back here having only played 10 games. Hopefully it can be memorable,'' he said.
"To be on the sidelines for four months was pretty tough.
"Missing that much football, mentally you are fresh and physically I feel fine. It puts me in good stead for these next couple of games and I'm very humbled to be part of the green and gold.''
McLean played a little more than 40 minutes for the Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea on Saturday in Port Moresby, where he said some players were unnerved when spectators invaded the field.
Some fans feared a light tower was moving and ran on to the field to get away from it.
"It was pretty funny because some of the boys were a bit spooked and started running,'' he said. "They just show a lot of passion and want to be close to their heroes. It was sorted pretty quick. They were running out and touching us."
Australian coach Mal Meninga rates McLean highly but has other quality middle forwards to choose from in David Klemmer, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Josh McGuire, Jake Trbojevic and Aaron Woods.