Valentine Holmes to compete for spot in NFL's International Player Pathway Program

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Mailata Effect inspiring Aussie hopefuls (1:45)

Prospects at the NFL International Combine in Australia talk to ESPN about the impact Jordan Mailata's journey has had on their views of an NFL career. (1:45)

Former NRL star Valentine Holmes has taken a giant step towards a career in the NFL after being selected to compete for a place in the 2019 International Player Pathway Program.

Holmes, 23, is one of seven high-performing athletes from around the world to be chosen to tryout for the program, one which was established in 2017 and looks to sharpen and hone athletes' skills for the game of American football.

Training gets underway in the United States next month and will see Holmes working alongside NFL veterans and draft hopefuls in Florida under the supervision of IMG Academy coaches, including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, linebackers coach Pepper Johnson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.

In March, Holmes will have the opportunity to impress NFL club scouts. He could potentially be signed as a free agent or selected for a 2019 practice squad position through the International Player Pathway Program.

Fellow Australian Jordan Mailata was one of the success stories to come out of this program last year when he was signed by reigning Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles.

Holmes sensationally walked out on his AU$6 million contract with the Cronulla Sharks in November to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.

Joining Holmes in January will be David Bada (Germany), Moubarak Djeri (Germany), Jakob Johnson (Germany), Dural Neto (Brazil), Maximo Sanchez (Mexico) and Christian Wade (United Kingdom).