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Valentine Holmes named to return in Cowboys NRL trial

Valentine Holmes during his playing days for the Cronulla Sharks. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Valentine Holmes has been named to make his return to rugby league in North Queensland's NRL trial on Saturday.

The former Australia and Queensland fullback has been named to play in the No.1 jersey against Brisbane at Barlow Park in Cairns.

The 24-year-old former Australia and Queensland custodian has not played a professional rugby league game since the 2018 finals with Cronulla after a stint with the NFL.

Holmes was named in a 25-man squad by coach Paul Green on Wednesday, along with star forward Jason Taumalolo and NRL Nines player of the tournament Scott Drinkwater.

Jordan McLean, Coen Hess and Shane Wright will round out a strong forward pack.

Former Cronulla hooker Jayden Brailey has been named to play his first game in a Newcastle jersey on Saturday when they face St George Illawarra in their trial.

The 23-year-old has been named in a squad of 34 players by new coach Adam O'Brien, which includes skipper Mitchell Pearce and representative prop David Klemmer.

While star fullback Kalyn Ponga is missing due to NRL All Stars duty, it will give O'Brien the first look at his halves and hooker combination.

The Knights battled with inconsistency in their spine last season and O'Brien is intent on finding a settled combination for 2020.

Halves hopefuls Kurt Mann and Mason Lino will get the chance to push their case for the No.6 jersey alongside halfback Pearce.

Fullback Tex Hoy, 20, starred at the NRL Nines and will get a chance to impress in the 13-a-side game against the Dragons, while emerging star Bradman Best has been ruled out with a fractured foot.

He will undergo surgery this week and is likely to miss the first few rounds of the season.

State of Origin forwards Klemmer, Daniel Saifiti and Tim Glasby have also been named for their first hit-out of the year.