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NRL legend Mark Geyer urges Cowboys to drop Valentine Holmes plan to pursue Latrell Mitchell

Sporting News logo Sporting News 9/11/2019
a close up of Latrell Mitchell in a red shirt © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Former NRL veteran Mark Geyer believes the North Queensland Cowboys shouldn't risk missing out on Latrell Mitchell while they wait for Valentine Holmes.

The Cowboys have been linked with a move for Holmes since he made his high-profile move to the US in pursuit of an NFL career at the start of the year.

Whilst the former Cronulla premiership-winner managed to play in four pre-season trial games for the New York Jets this year, he ultimately failed to make the cut for the franchise's 55-man player roster, leaving his immediate future in limbo.

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Since then the talk has grown louder that Holmes would return home to wear Cowboys colours in 2020, with coach Paul Green reportedly flying over to New York to speak with the former Origin flyer in an attempt to lure him home to Townsville.

However, the Cowboys have also been linked with out-of-favour Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell in recent days, after reports the 22-year-old Kangaroos star was keen to make the move to North Queensland.

Adding further intrigue to the situation was Mitchell's reported interest in playing fullback for the Cowboys, and with Holmes' future still up in the air, the club now find themselves with a big decision to make in the coming weeks.

However, Geyer has suggested Holmes may not be up to scratch in terms of conditioning and fitness and would therefore be a risk for the Cowboys.

The Penrith Panthers legend in turn believes the Cowboys shouldn't sacrifice their position in the pursuit of Mitchell by holding out for Holmes.

"I know that Val Holmes is going to be a hot commodity if he decides to come back to rugby league, but it's an unknown," Geyer told Triple M's Rush Hour.

"It might take 12 months to get his body shape back to being a rugby league player after being an NFL player and doing extensive weights and being a lot thicker and being a tad slower for rugby league.

"I'd still gamble on Val, I'd love him back in the game, but at the moment if you made me choose between Val Holmes and Latrell, I'm taking Latrell."

The premiership-winning great further suggested the acquisition of Mitchell to play fullback for them in 2020 "enhances them ten-fold" and would elevate the Cowboys "straight into the top eight".

With a number of NRL clubs bowing out of the race for the Origin star, the Cowboys' chances of landing Mitchell are strengthening by the day.

After emerging as one of the frontrunners to secure Mitchell's services for 2021 and beyond, the Canterbury Bulldogs released an official statement on Friday pulling their name from the hat.

Next to the Cowboys, the Wests Tigers are poised to make a big-money play for the in-demand 22-year-old, as they look to put their reported $1.7 million of salary cap space to use, following the sudden departures of Ryan Matterson and Ben Matulino.

Whilst Mitchell remains under contract with the Roosters in 2020, they would reportedly grant him an early release if he was to sign a deal elsewhere before the start of the season.

The premiers had tabled a two-year deal worth up to $1.6 million, however chose to withdraw the offer after Mitchell indicated he felt he was worth more.

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