Holmes uses app footage to plot Slater's demise

Valentine Holmes will be bidding to end the career of his childhood hero Billy Slater having studied the Storm star at length via Cronulla's special coaching app.

Holmes' sparkling form to end 2018 sees him on track to become one of the Telstra Premiership's elite No.1s, just as Slater wraps up a storied career that has helped redefine fullback play in the modern era.

The Sharks custodian has been as keen a student of Slater as any, with Cronulla's coaching staff preparing specific tutorial footage of the Melbourne maestro for Holmes to pore over.

"We have an analyser app the coaches show us that they cut up some videos for me to look at," Holmes said.

"It's not just [Slater], but Darius Boyd and even Tom Trbojevic, Tedesco and all those guys. I'm trying to see what they're doing.

"They've had pretty good careers and good years this year. I mixed my game into what they're doing."

Holmes will not only have a front-row seat for Slater's show at AAMI Park, but will be trying to bring the curtain down on the Storm champion's career in Friday's grand final qualifier.

He has had plenty of chances to pick Slater's brain in Queensland and Australian camps as well, but chose to sit back and watch for the most part during the Maroons most recent campaign.

"Every now and then and after training I was asking a few questions defensively and why he went to certain position and why he pushed the forwards certain ways," Holmes said.

"He was working with KP (Kalyn Ponga) at the time because he was coming on as a lock, ball-playing second-rower like Michael Morgan usually does.

"I didn't want to intrude on his preparation, but whenever I could I asked but more so just watched and learned."

Along with Ponga, Holmes is in line to claim Slater's Maroons jersey next year, while Roosters star James Tedesco is a slight front-runner for the green and gold No.1 in the Kangaroos' end-of-season Tests.

A Townsville youngster before shipping down to Cronulla as a junior, Holmes counts Slater and North Queensland favourite son Matty Bowen as his childhood idols.

But with another grand final appearance on the line, the 23-year-old has no qualms about denying Slater a crack at a fairy tale farewell.

"He's obviously from Innisfail which is only up the road from where I was from," Holmes said.

"He was definitely a player I idolised, him and Matty Bowen. I've been lucky enough to play alongside and against him as well… They want to send him out like the champion he is.

"I'm sure if we win he's not going to be too disappointed with his career. I feel like he's had quite a good career and he's done a lot of things and it's not going to be an easy task."