Greg Holmes taking fresh Wallabies opportunity after shock call-up

Tue, 07/09/2021, 05:53 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies prop Greg Holmes and backrower Pete Samu have spoken to media this afternoon from the Gold Coast.

Western Force prop Greg Holmes is embracing his shock call-up to the Wallabies squad.

Holmes was drafted into the squad after Rebels prop Pone Fa'amausili suffered an injury, with travel restrictions continuing to limit squad additions.

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The 38-year-old is set to stay for the remainder of TRC, having last featured for the Wallabies in 2016 against England and admitted he was already turning his focus from playing when he got the call from Dave Rennie.

“It was a bit of a strange one,” Holmes told reporters. “I was sitting at a table with (Dave) at a Bledisloe lunch. I was doing a bit of coaching with the Force and asked if I watch a couple of unit sessions and assumed it was about that.

“When I rang him back, he said ‘mate we’ve had a few injuries and setbacks do you want to train for the week and potentially the next month’ so it caught me a bit off guard.

“I’ve got a lot of learning to do over the next week or two to get myself into a position where I’ll be right to play.”

Holmes will provide further cover as Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa prepares to return to Canberra for the birth of his child.

Holmes and his own expecting partner will make the trip over, allowing the former Red to get his wish of having a 'Queensland baby' in early October.

“I was pretty busy last week so we’re preparing for my first baby myself so I had to have some serious talks with her,” he added.

“I was pretty keen to have a Queensland baby so we got everything sorted, got the hospital sorted over here in the Gold Coast so she’ll fly over Thursday.

“We’re hoping everything will go to plan and have a little boy at the start of October."

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With the Wallabies attention turning to the world champions Springboks, Holmes stressed the importance of shutting down their set-piece if they wish to control the game.

“They’re the number one side and rightfully so. They’ve won some big Tests, they’re a big huge pack so you have to nullify that. If you don’t do they, they’ll bully you and steamroll you the whole game,” he said.

“They’re a really good team who have slick backs and huge forwards so there’s not one area you have to nullify, everyone has to be on their game to deal with South Africa but I have no doubt we have the ability to beat them this week.

“…If we can impose our game on them, it’ll benefit us. You have to nullify their set piece, they’re a big team and we have the players to do that. If we can impose out fast paced game, get some good field position and run them off their feet and make them uncomfortable, that’s how you have to beat them.”

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