Holmes keen for Pumas rematch

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

 Wallabies prop Greg Holmes is champing at the bit to have another go at the Argentinian scrum.

Holmes started against Argentina in August and said he felt there was plenty of improvement in him ahead of Sunday’s final four match.

“I got a start against them in the Rugby Championship and we didn’t perform that well so I can’t wait to get another crack at that scrum,” he said.

Holmes has been injected off the bench with the exception of the Wallabies win over Uruguay when he started and it’s a role that he says he is happy to play.

He and replacement forwards James Slipper and Tatafu Polota-Nao have all been important coming into games in the final 20 minutes in a squad that values its finishers highly.

Holmes strikes a relaxed figure around camp and part of that is a desire to embrace every moment of his return to the Wallabies fold after eight years.

“It’s hard to put into words (what it means),” he said.

“I watched it for eight years missing out and I put a lot of work in.

“I’ve credited Nick Stiles a lot to technically coaching the back end in and scrumming at a standard that Australia had to look at me.”

Australia’s quarter-final against Scotland was a reality check for their forwards, Holmes said, and a timely test of their improved scrummaging.

“We knew the way they were going to scrum but we probably didn’t perform the way we had to,” he said.

“It probably gives you a bit of a kick up the backside at this point.

The influence of Mario Ledesma has been obvious at scrum time for the Wallabies and in a week when the Wallabies would need to up their scrum game, Holmes said it was the Argentinian's attention to detail that had helped them improve.

“He’s very savvy technically with the scrum,” he said.

“He shows you a few things that you might not pick up otherwise with other coaches.

“We need to step up quite a lot this week but I think we’ve got the right man at the helm to point us in the right direction.”

Wallabies lock Kane Douglas said the straight-talking Ledesma leaves no room for misinterpretation at training.

“He keeps it pretty basic and tells it how it is,” he said.

“If you've done something wrong, he’ll tell you.

“Everyone knows what to do out there.

“It’s about sticking to those little principles he gives you and just working hard.

“He’s good to have around. He gets a bit emotional, he’s pretty passionate about what he wants and what we’re doing.