Cronulla hotshot Valentine Holmes says he’s been closely following the rapid rise of Roosters gun Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in anticipation of a move to fullback next season.
Tuivasa-Sheck spent most of last season switching with the now-retired Anthony Minichiello as he developed his game in first grade.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is employing an identical blueprint for 19-year-old Holmes, who has set his sights on replicating Tuivasa-Sheck’s ascension as one of the NRL’s bona fide stars.
“That’s exactly how I want to try and play,” Holmes told AAP.
“He’s killing it at the moment this year.
“Last year it seemed like it was working pretty well with him and Minichiello.
“That’s what Flanno was saying – it’s pretty much just like how the Roosters do it.
“That’s what he’s doing with me and Flash and it seems to be going pretty well.
“I didn’t normally go out of my way to watch footy, but last year I watched how they swapped and it went really well.”
Holmes, who represented the Junior Kangaroos last season, paid tribute to Gordon for acting as a mentor since his debut last year.
Gordon, 31, was headed for a different kind of switch – a mid-season move to Parramatta – which was lampooned at the 11th hour by Sharks officials.
He is now expected to see out the year in the Shire.
Holmes said he was happy to bide his time under the former NSW representative, but made no attempt to disguise an ambition to assume the role as the team’s No.1 next season.
“I reckon I will be (ready). If I get my defensive part down pat, I’m sure I’ll be ready,” Holmes said.
“(But) I’m still biding my time. I’m not trying to push him out. I’m just waiting.
“I’m still young. He can have the rest of the year. I’ll just wait for next year or wherever Flanno decides to put me.
“I’ve learnt so much from him, even with goalkicking. He teaches me what his techniques are in how he goalkicks and it’s helped me try to put that in my game.
“Anything he does. He’s a good bloke and he’ll help you out if you need it. He’s done that since the start.”