Holmes primed for NZ game

QUEENSLAND Reds prop Greg Holmes returned home to Allora on Wednesday for some country air before flying to New Zealand for the final fixture game of the Super Rugby season against the Chiefs tomorrow.

Holmes is part of a Reds team which is one of the favourites for the Super Rugby title.

He returned to Allora for lunch on Wednesday but any plans for an overnight stopover were ruined when the Reds airline booking to New Zealand was brought forward to early Thursday.

Such has been their outstanding season, the Reds have secured a home final regardless of the result.

Holmes puts down the success this season to the depth of the Reds.

“We have two teams in the squad which could play Super Rugby,” he said.

Despite the presence of four Wallabies props in the squad, Holmes has become a fixture in the 22 each week.

He started in two games but mainly comes off the bench as the third prop.

After being in the Wallabies starting side and scoring a 60-metre try against Ireland in Perth in 2006, Holmes suffered a succession of injuries and lost his place in the side.

He said he was in better physical shape than any time in the past two years.

“This has been one of my better years performance-wise,” Holmes said.

Early in the season he played close to half a game off the bench but in a recent game, where a number of backs were injured, he was brought on late as the coach didn’t want to exhaust his reserves too early.

He has agreed to another season with the Reds.

“I am happy where I am,” he said.

While his ability to play both sides of the scrum must boost his Wallabies selection hopes, Holmes said he expected the players in Super Rugby starting teams to be ahead of him in the pecking order.

“Of course, I want to play for the Wallabies again,” he said.

If he doesn’t make the 2011 national squad, Holmes will play for Sunnybank for the rest of the season in premier grade rugby.

Next season, Holmes hopes to play a bit more on the tight head side of the scrum, after being a loose head prop when he played for the Wallabies.

But before he can think about the Wallabies or Sunnybank, Holmes has a Super Rugby title to win with the Queensland Reds.

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