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Former NRL star Holmes the latest to cross codes and signs deal with NY Jets

Australian Valentine Holmes, 23, follows former rugby union player Christian Wade to the States.

Former NRL star Valentine Holmes
Former NRL star Valentine Holmes

VALENTINE HOLMES’ HOPES of playing in the NFL have been boosted after the former NRL star joined the New York Jets as part of the International Player Pathway Program.

Trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow rugby league to NFL converts Jarryd Hayne and Jordan Mailata, Australian Holmes will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster through training camp.

If the 23-year-old ex-Cronulla Sharks full-back does not make the cut via the Pathway program, Holmes will be eligible for an 11th spot practice squad exemption. However, he will not be allowed to play in 2019 if that is the case.

“I’m speechless,” Holmes said in a statement via Twitter following Monday’s announcement.

“Firstly I would like to thank the Jets for giving me the opportunity to join your organisation.

“I’d like to thank my family, friends, fans, Chris and Gavin Orr from Pacific Sports for supporting me!”

NFL VALENTINE HOLMES TRIAL Holmes is seen during a Pro Day as part of the NFL's International Pathway program on last Monday. Source: AAP/PA Images

Holmes’ swap also follows former Wasps star Christian Wade – who yesterday announced he was joining the Buffalo Bills as part of the pathway programme.

“With the recent news I’m completely lost for words,” Wade said. “Every week that has gone by has exceeded my expectations.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the process and have tried to stay open to all possibilities. I’ve tried to take everyone moment as it comes and hit it hard.

“It’s been a real test and will continue to be so as I’ve only scratched the surface of what is required. It’s been a challenge that I have risen to and now I am looking to the next step.”

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