Valentine Holmes, the Cowboys star and member of the Kangaroos team, is in hot water due to a controversial social media post. The NRL has issued a breach notice to Holmes after an image of him holding a white bag in his mouth was published online. Although the post was deleted shortly afterward and Holmes claims it was made in jest, the NRL has alleged that he has brought the game and his club into disrepute publicly associating the game with illegal drugs.
Sources with knowledge of the matter have revealed that Holmes is facing a fine of up to $30,000 and a suspension that could potentially cost him a Kangaroos jersey. The NRL has not yet disclosed the official sanctions, but it is expected that Holmes will face a hefty fine and at least one game on the sideline.
In similar cases in the past, players involved in white powder scandals have faced fines and suspensions. The Storm trio Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith, and Chris Lewis were fined a combined $49,000 and banned for one game each. Eels forward Shaun Lane escaped suspension but was fined $17,500 for a similar photo.
Due to the controversy surrounding the social media post, Australia coach Mal Meninga has decided not to select Holmes for the Prime Minister’s XIII team. It remains unclear whether Holmes will serve any further suspensions during the season-ending Tests against New Zealand and Samoa, as well as the start of the next NRL season.
If Holmes is unavailable for the entire tri-series, it opens up opportunities for other players like Bradman Best, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, and Alofiana Khan-Pereira to make their Test debuts. The PM’s XIII clash will give Tabuai-Fidow, Khan-Pereira, and Zac Lomax a chance to push their cases for selection.
The final determination of Holmes’ punishment and potential suspension will be made NRL judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew. Until then, the Cowboys star faces uncertainty regarding his immediate future in the sport.
– NRL: National Rugby League
– Kangaroos: Australian national rugby league team
– Cowboys: North Queensland Cowboys, NRL team
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