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Western Force confirm retiring trio

Fri, 27/05/2022, 6:08 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Moana Pasifika hosted the Force at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Western Force have confirmed legendary trio Jeremy Thrush, Richard Kahui and Greg Holmes will be retiring at the end of the season.

They leave the game having played over 400 games of Super Rugby games and will potentially play their final at HBF Park on Saturday against the Hurricanes.

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Thrush joined the club in 2018, playing across Global Rapid Rugby, the NRC and Super Rugby as he played a pivotal role in their 2020 return.

The 37-year-old will face his old team in his final regular season match, proud of the legacy he leaves behind.

“The support of the fans has been amazing, I’ve been blown away by it week in and week out,” Thrush said in a statement.

“This last chapter at the Force has been some of the most enjoyable of my career. The camaraderie we’ve had has been fantastic. I’ve turned up every day here with a smile on my face, and I’ve loved being a part of it.

“To see so many young players come here and go on to forge Super Rugby and international careers has been one of my favourite things to take out of my time here.”

Kahui ends his career having done it all, winning a World Cup on home soil in 2011 before delivering the Chiefs a Super Rugby title in 2012.

The former Highlander and Chief signed for the Force in 2020 after seven seasons in Japan with Top League side Toshiba Brave Lupus, thankful for the opportunity the Force gave him.

“I’d like to thank Tim Sampson for giving me the call to join the Force. He’s a great man that cares about his players, so I’ll always be grateful to him. There are so many guys in this team that I’ve got great memories and friendships with,” Kahui explained.

“Most of my favourite moments are based around winning with the Force, the All Blacks and the Chiefs. One of the things I’ve found really special has been the time in the sheds after a game, as it’s always been a chance to reflect and appreciate the journey.

“I’ve absolutely loved it here at the Force. It’s been a great three seasons. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything the Western Force is trying to grow. The fans have been so loyal and loud, so it’s been special to have their support.”

Rounding out the list is Holmes, who ends a near two-decade career in Australian Rugby after making his debut with the Reds in 2005.

The front rower has made 169 appearances in Super Rugby (27 for the Force), becoming the oldest Wallaby since World War II when he came off the bench against Argentina last October.

“I’ve had a long career, and I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved. It’s the right time for me. I thought I was going to finish up a few years ago in England, so it’s been great to return to Australia and finish my career here,” Holmes said.

“I’ve loved my time at the Force, there’s an unbelievable group of people here. Alana (wife), Bodhi (son), and I now call Perth home, which is the ultimate compliment I can give.

“I can’t thank my wife Alana, and my Mum and Dad enough for their support over the years.”

General Manager of Rugby Matt Hodgson praised the influence of the retiring trio on the young squad.

“I’d like to congratulate Jerry, Kaks, and Homer on their outstanding careers, in particular their time at the Force,” Hodgson added.

“They are players and people who have given their all to the Force on and off the field, having played integral roles since joining the club.

“On behalf of the entire organisation, I’d like to wish them and their families all the very best for the future.”

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