Thaiday tips banned duo to fire up

Valentine Holmes in action for the Sharks.
Valentine Holmes in action for the Sharks.

Queensland stalwart Sam Thaiday has predicted ostracised players Valentine Holmes and Cameron Munster will use their 12-month Origin bans to motivate them to play their best rugby league this year.

While Queensland Rugby League officials continued their probe into whether any other players broke curfew by leaving their team camp at the weekend, Cronulla dumped Holmes from their Auckland Nines squad.

As further punishment, Holmes will have to undergo a program with the club's welfare and education team on the importance of his obligations and responsibilities as an NRL player.

"I made a poor choice. I've got to live by it and face the consequences," said the 20-year-old, who was fined $1412 by police for obstructing police, being a public nuisance and refusing to produce identification on demand.

Police were called after he allegedly had an altercation with a cab driver after jumping a queue at a Fortitude Valley rank at 4.15am on Sunday.

"I'm not happy about it," Holmes said. "I've let the team down and I have let Queensland down."

Thaiday, who has been named captain of Brisbane's Auckland Nines squad, said Holmes and Munster would bounce back from the disappointment and embarrassment.

"They're young kids. I wasn't there so I can't pass any judgment on the boys," Thaiday said.

"We were all young once."

A veteran of 25 games for Queensland since 2006, Thaiday said the state side was getting older and would need new blood at some point.

"We're going to need some of these young guys to fill the void at some point," he said.

"I'm sure they will go back to their clubs and play some really good football."

Two years ago Newcastle's Dane Gagai was banned for 12 months over a similar incident but bounced back to make his debut for Queensland last year.

Rookie coach Kevin Walters is understood to be shattered by the actions of a handful of players after only hours earlier tell them it was important for their futures and Queensland that they made good choices.

APN believes up to six other players are being investigated.

The QRL, which holds the camps to gauge players' strengths and any weaknesses, took the Emerging Origin squad to dinner on Saturday night and returned them to their hotel by bus.

In the end, the players who decided to sneak out of camp let themselves down badly by showing little respect for Walters, who only hours earlier had spoken to them about the importance of showing discipline.


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