If Valentine Holmes and Cameron Munster have not fully realised the setback they face, Queensland Rugby League boss Peter Betros has painted a clear picture for the banned duo.
And it isn’t pretty.
Betros said the QRL would not hold the past against Holmes and Munster when their 12 month State of Origin ban was lifted next year.
But the QRL boss warned the damage may have already been done to the pair’s Origin dream.
Holmes and Munster copped a year-long Origin ban from the QRL after defying new coach Kevin Walters and breaking curfew at the weekend’s Emerging Maroons camp in Brisbane.
Holmes is also being investigated by the NRL Integrity Unit after being fined by Queensland Police for public nuisance and obstructing police early on Sunday morning.
Betros said Newcastle’s Dane Gagai had shown that it was possible to make a successful return from an Origin ban.
But he warned Holmes and Munster it would be tough to fight back up the fiercely loyal Maroons’ pecking order after so long on the Origin sidelines.
“They had a great opportunity this year and they didn’t take it, they thought better of it,” Betros told AAP.
“Dane came back stronger but he let another player get in front of him in Will Chambers.
“He could have had a chance in game three in 2014 but Will Chambers took the opportunity instead.
“Dane paid the price for that.
“It’s a massive set back for those players (Holmes, Munster).”
Gagai copped the 12-month ban for skipping an Emerging Origin training session in 2014.
It came back to haunt Gagai when he watched helplessly as Chambers snapped up a backline vacancy in Origin III 2014 created by Brent Tate’s career-ending knee injury.
Gagai finally made his Origin debut in Origin III last year but only after a reshuffle forced by fullback Billy Slater’s season-ending shoulder injury.
Holmes apologised for his behaviour after his NRL club Cronulla cut him from their Auckland Nines squad.
“It was a poor choice, I have to live with the consequences,” he told Network Ten.
“At the moment it is just for this year but it has really set me back.
“If I play good footy hopefully I get another selection in later years.”
Melbourne opted not to pull Munster from their Nines squad.
Queensland backrower Sam Thaiday backed Holmes and Munster to bounce back.
“I am sure they will go back to their clubs and play some really good footy – you watch how good those guys go this year,” he said.
The QRL are still investigating players’ behaviour at the camp after Nine Network claimed Brisbane’s Anthony Milford and Jarrod Wallace, Newcastle’s Korbin Sims and Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa also broke curfew.
Sims has since professed his innocence.