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St.George Queensland Reds prop Greg Holmes will become the 26th member of Queensland Rugby’s prestigious 100 Caps Club when he celebrates his 100-game milestone against South Africa’s Sharks at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Holmes is set to become the first centurion since John Roe reached the 100-game mark against the Brumbies in 2008 while he will join Dan Crowley (124 games) and Stan Pilecki (122 games) as the third prop in Queensland Rugby history to reach the honour.
Still only 29, Holmes has been an integral member to the Reds success since his debut in 2005, with the team’s 2011 Super Rugby title triumph a highlight during a career which has also seen the talented front-rower earn 13 caps for the Wallabies.
As a reliable servant of the club across nine seasons, Holmes said it would be an honour to join an illustrious group of players to have played 100 games for Queensland.
“It’s quite humbling when you think about the calibre of players who have played 100 games for Queensland and the service they have given to the Reds,” Holmes said.
“But in saying that, I’m equally as excited to be joining the club against the Sharks on Friday. It will be a pretty special moment running out, especially when you think about all the hard work that has gone into getting the Reds to where they are now after what was a few tough years earlier in my career.
“I never would have thought 100 games would have been possible when I first started, but as time has passed there has never been a moment where I’ve wanted to leave. As long as Queensland is happy to have me, I probably never will.
“I still feel this group has plenty to accomplish together and I’m really looking forward to what the future holds.”
Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie congratulated Holmes on his service to Queensland Rugby.
“Since the game turned professional it has become quite common for players to mix and match their clubs, but Greg has stayed true to Queensland since he debuted and is a hugely deserving member of what is an illustrious club,” McKenzie said.
“When times were tough it would have been easy for him to pack his bags and go elsewhere. He chose to stay, battled through the hard years and ultimately got rewarded when the Reds won the championship in 2011.
“He continues to evolve his game and improve as a player and he now has the unique ability of being able to play on either side of the scrum. There’s no reason to think he won’t continue on that upward trend and at 29 is still young for a prop, so I’ve got no doubts he has plenty left to give in the next few years.
“On behalf of everyone at Queensland Rugby and the Reds, we all congratulate Greg on what will be a special moment when he runs out onto the field on Friday night.”
Tickets for the Reds v Sharks match are available through Ticketek: http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=REDS1313.
Greg Holmes Bio
Date Of Birth: 11/06/1983
Place of Birth: Warwick
Senior Club: Sunnybank
Provincial Rugby Caps: 99
Provincial Rugby Debut: 2005 v Blues, Auckland
Super Rugby Caps: 98
Super Rugby Debut: 2005 v Blues, Auckland
Test Rugby Caps: 13
Test Rugby Debut: 2005 v France, Marseille
A distinguished career by St.George Queensland Reds front-rower Greg Holmes has the Warwick-born powerhouse on the verge of becoming the next Queensland representative to play 100 games for the Reds.
Holmes has been a staple in the Reds front-row for the past nine seasons and is now arguably in career best form after featuring heavily in each game this season and in all 17 matches during Queensland’s 2012 Australian Conference winning Super Rugby campaign.
Such was the impressive form of Holmes that he finished the 2012 season as the Reds starting loosehead prop, playing in the No.1 jersey during the team’s final five regular season matches and their Qualifying Final against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
Dubbed by many as extremely unlucky not to be chosen in the Wallabies’ 2012 setup, Holmes has been a major asset for the Reds with his ability to feature on either side of the scrum at loosehead or tighthead prop invaluable to the team’s success.
His standout efforts last year followed another impressive year in 2011 when he relished each of the opportunities he received during the Reds Super Rugby Championship success.
Holmes was a major contributor, predominantly from the bench, throughout the year before stepping up to produce notable performances in the starting line-up for both the Super Rugby Semi-Final and Final, where he replaced injured tighthead James Slipper.
The Sunnybank prop is an experienced campaigner within the youthful Reds squad and he celebrated his 50th appearance for Queensland and in Super Rugby back in 2010, after an injury plagued 2009 season.
2006 was the making of Holmes, who played in every Super 14 match that year. Despite a shoulder aggravation, he soldiered on through the season and was duly rewarded with selection in the Wallabies squad, where he soon cemented himself as the top loosehead prop in the country before a neck injury ruled him out of the end of year Spring Tour.
He was building up to another big year in 2007 when a shoulder reconstruction put paid to his Super 14 season after just three games and left him in a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup. He recovered in time to win selection against France, but had limited opportunity to impress, coming off the bench against Fiji before starting the final pool match against Canada.
An operation to remove a loose bone fragment in his knee in 2008 restricted him to just eight matches and affected his chances of representative selection that year.
23 JANUARY 2019