RUGBY LEAGUE: Cronulla Sharks prodigy Valentine Holmes has flipped the rugby league landscape on its head after announcing a shock move to America to pursue an NFL career.

Following a similar path to the one of Jarryd Hayne, Holmes has left the Sharks in turmoil as he aims for an unlikely NFL contract. He left with a year left on his contract, and if he returns to Australia next season he must play out that year with the Sharks.

But was it the right move for Valentine, or will he just be another flash in the pan? We go Behind the Sports Desk to answer that question.

MOOSE ELKERTON: Prime time for an NFL career

WATCHING one of a sport's greatest talents walk away from the field is tough.

But in the case of Valentine Holmes, we just need to cross our fingers that he will be back one day.

Holmes has a passion for the NFL. That has not been a secret by any stretch.

He went over to America with Jason Taumalolo two years ago to check out operations of several NFL clubs.

The fact that one day he was going to take the opportunity to go to that sport should have come as no surprise.

But it is the timing that has caught everyone off guard.

He has been a talisman for the Sharks for several years now, and there was just a feeling that we still haven't seen the best of his potential.

But the fact is Holmes is in the prime of his career, and this could be his last and only shot at potentially making a career in the NFL.

It is not going to be easy. Just ask Jordan Mailata, the rugby league convert who managed to secure a rare draft selection to the Philadelphia Eagles, but only after a year of hard work and dedication, and not very much money.

But at only 23, Holmes has time to try and make it in the NFL, and still come back and live out a long and prosperous league career if it doesn't work out in the 'land of opportunity'.

The timing is not great, and I don't agree with a player not talking to his coach and captain before leaking the news to the press, but that is done now.

All we can do is wish Holmes the best.

JARRARD POTTER: Holmes only set up to fail

THERE'S a lot of lessons to be learnt from Jarryd Hayne, and one of them I thought that Valentine Holmes would have learnt was that cracking the NFL as an outsider with very limited experience in the sport is difficult, if not impossible.

Granted, Hayne made the San Francisco 49ers team for one season, but never solidified his position or made an impact in the sport, apart from the novelty value of an "Australian rugby" player having a crack at what could be the sport with the most competition for roles.

The problem is that league players are overall more rounded athletes as a whole, compared to the ultra-specialised players of the NFL. Not to mention the complexity of the plays they run, and combined with the fact Holmes will compete against athletes who have played the game all their life, the challenge will be extreme.

The decision is also baffling because with one season left on his contract he has abandoned the Cronulla Sharks and made a mockery of the concept of a contract in the NRL.

Personally, I believe he was trying to wring a few more dollars out of the Sharks from contract negotiations for 2020 onwards by floating a hare-brained idea of playing NFL.

The Sharks have called his bluff and cut him loose, on the proviso that he will return to the club if he fails to pick up a NFL contract. That would make any other club in approaching himthink twice, for fear of him committing another backflip and walking out with a year left on a valid contract.



'We are excited': New party to celebrate the Yacht Race

premium_icon 'We are excited': New party to celebrate the Yacht Race

Find out all the info on the first ever line crossing party

SHOW ME THE MONEY: Domestic visitors in big cash splurge

premium_icon SHOW ME THE MONEY: Domestic visitors in big cash splurge

'These statistics prove that strategy is paying off'

PHOTOS: All the smiles and colour from Harbour Fest

premium_icon PHOTOS: All the smiles and colour from Harbour Fest

Were you snapped by our photographer over the weekend?