There’s no place like home for Queensland in State of Origin.
But Maroons flyer Valentine Holmes admits he won’t be so familiar with his surroundings in Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider in what will be his first game at Suncorp Stadium as a senior footballer.
Remarkably Cronulla star Holmes has never played at the Maroons’ spiritual home since he ran out for the Queensland under 20s in a 2014 Origin curtain raiser.
In just his second Origin, Queensland winger Holmes hopes to help extend the Maroons’ stunning run at home in crunch games and seal their 11th series triumph in 12 years.
Overall the Maroons have won the past three series deciders held in Queensland and claimed the past four Origin III matches at Suncorp Stadium.
Queensland may have made themselves at home at Suncorp Stadium but Holmes admits he had never had the pleasure as a senior player.
“I honestly haven’t played there since I was 18 before the main Origin,” Holmes said.
“There were only a few thousand people but I was at that (Origin) game watching later and it was a massive crowd.
“They’re very passionate the Queensland supporters and talking to a few of the boys they’re excited by it and they said it’s the best field to play at.
“But I haven’t played a first grade game there so I don’t really know what it’s like.”
Test winger Holmes made his Origin debut in Queensland’s game two win in Sydney, scoring a try after tiptoeing down the sideline.
Holmes said he would now try not to get too overawed by the prospect of running out on to Suncorp Stadium in the famous Maroons jersey.
“The greats Queensland had with Darren Lockyer, Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri, Wally Lewis and all those guys, you want to put on that jersey that they all threw on,” he said.
“And everyone here is telling me how good that stadium is, one of the best stadiums they say in the world to play at.
“I’m excited to get out there on Wednesday.”
Overall Queensland have dominated Origin deciders, winning 12 – including the past six – compared to NSW’s four.
The Blues haven’t won a decider since 2005.