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Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes believes rugby league will capture American imaginations if the NRL can land a Stateside broadcasting agreement.

As the first contact team sport in the world set to restart after the COVID-19 pandemic put everything on hold, there has been interest from various overseas broadcasters in televising NRL matches.

And Holmes, who spent 2019 chasing an NFL dream on the New York Jets' practice squad, reckons league would be a hit with US audiences based on the curiosity of his former American football teammates.

"If they somehow get [NRL] televised over there, the guys at Jets were intrigued with the sport I played," Holmes said.

"They all thought it was rugby union because that's all they know – they know a lot about the All Blacks over there.

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"Obviously rugby union's a worldwide sport. But it'd definitely be good to get rugby league more out there.

"I'm sure they'd be intrigued in watching it. They like how physical it is. They always asked why we don't wear pads and helmets but it's something that we never really had to wear.

"I'm sure if it breaks in over there it would go well. A lot of guys would put their hands up for it.

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"It's definitely not a bad way to get it over there, [it] seems as we're the only professional [contact] sport about to start."

While the COVID-19 pandemic could result in the NRL cracking new markets, for Holmes it somewhat stalled the momentum of his league comeback.

The Queensland and Australian representative immersed himself in study to improve during the break.

"I did a bit of video work on my laptop of the two games I played in. I wanted to do a bit of homework on that, just the way we all played in our set structures and things like that," Holmes said.

"I did a bit of training outside as much as I could. Obviously we weren't allowed out of the house too much, but the Cowboys gave us weights and stretch bands and stuff like that to do as much as we could at home.

"As well as that I'd go down to a park early morning just to do some fitness drills and sprints, just to keep obviously my legs moving and my fitness up as much as I could.

"We couldn't really do much stuff together, so I couldn't really have anyone putting kicks up, bombs up for me. So I'd usually do that myself and then chase it."

Holmes is itching to face the Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium next Friday, saying he was especially dirty to lose to Brisbane at the Cowboys' new home in round one given it was also his club debut.

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Another man keen to christen the Townsville venue with a win is veteran forward Josh McGuire, who is yet to play there having been suspended and injured to start the season.

"It's a little bit disappointing that there's no fans there [due to COVID-19 regulations] but I'm excited to get to stay home and play footy here," he said.

McGuire, a renowned firebrand, laughed when asked if the NRL's decision to revert back to one referee might help him get away with some niggling tactics.

But he thinks the move could help him in other ways.

"It will probably suit the way I like playing footy as in speeding the ruck up and a faster game," the prop said.

"Hopefully [for] us smaller forwards, those big guys get a bit tired. But the way today's game is going, you can be 125 kilos and still be fit as hell." 

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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