Cowboys star Holmes could represent Cook Islands at World Cup

Source: AAP

North Queensland and Queensland State of Origin star Valentine Holmes is refusing to commit to Australia ahead of the Rugby League World Cup in October.

Valentine Holmes scores a try during State of Origin III.

Holmes is eligible for both Australia and the Cook Islands for the showpiece in England, but it's anybody's guess who he will turn out for.

The backline utility represented the Kangaroos 13 times between 2016-2018, scoring 17 tries in 13 games and setting several try-scoring records.

Born to a Cook Islands mother and New Zealand father, Holmes has also represented the Junior Kangaroos and the Maroons in Origin.

That hasn't stopped the 27-year-old contemplating where he might play come October, even after talking with Cook Islands coach Tony Iro before last year's tournament was cancelled.

But he says that decision is out of sight until his club season is wrapped up.

"Obviously that's always in the back of your mind but to get there you've got to play consistent for club footy and injuries come into it, so you've got to be fresh by the end of the year," Holmes said.

"I'm not really too fussed on that I haven't made my mind up with where I want to go, or play for, but I'm playing for the Cowboys at the moment and that's all I'm focused on.

"I know I can play there (Cook Islands) and I know I can play for Australia as well, so I've got some decisions to make I guess."

Holmes was nigh-on unstoppable during the 2017 World Cup in Australia, bagging a record five tries in the quarter-final against Samoa in Darwin.

Only a week later, he broke his own record by scoring six four-pointers in the semi-final against Fiji at Suncorp Stadium and finished with an unprecedented dozen for the tournament.

This year's World Cup shapes up as the most competitive in history with New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa all set to name squads with a high calibre of NRL talent.

Tonga fell bravely to New Zealand recently in the international window but upset Australia in the Kangaroos' last test match in 2019.

Holmes said it's good NRL players are opting to represent their cultures with their allegiances and expects more teams to be competing for the title of world champions.

"A lot of Pacific Islanders are probably seeing that ... and it's good to see they're playing for their heritage, playing for their family, their culture and hopefully there's a good Cook Islands side there too," he said.

"This will probably be the toughest World Cup campaign - especially over there - we've seen New Zealand and Tonga play each other a few weeks ago and that was an awesome match.

"New Zealand are looking pretty good, Australia usually has a pretty strong side.

"But this World Cup (compared) from 2017, I feel like this one's going to be a bit stronger."

Holmes' indecision comes after Canberra prop and series-winning Queensland teammate Josh Papalii committed to Samoa for the 2022 global showpiece.