Holmes to join centurion club
Reds prop Greg Holmes will become the 26th member of Queensland's centurion club when he celebrates his 100-game milestone on Friday.
Reds prop Greg Holmes will become the 26th member of Queensland's prestigious centurion club when he celebrates his 100-game milestone against South Africa's Sharks on Friday.
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 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 row forward earn 13 caps for the Wallabies.
As a reliable servant of the franchise 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 franchise 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.
"Since the game turned professional it has become quite common for players to mix and match their franchises, but Greg has stayed true to Queensland since he debuted and is a hugely deserving member of what is an illustrious franchise," 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 and the Reds, we all congratulate Greg on what will be a special moment when he runs out onto the field on Friday."
Holmes will play an instrumental role in Friday's Round 13 Super fixture against the Sharks following the announcement of a strong 22-man squad on Wednesday.
Wing Rod Davies is the sole new addition to the squad from the one which drew with the Western Force in Perth at the weekend with Dom Shipperley (back) to miss the match through injury.
The Reds will finalise the make-up of their starting XV on Thursday.
Forwards: Albert Anae, Jarrad Butler, Saia Faingaa, Liam Gill, James Hanson, Greg Holmes, James Horwill (captain), Ed O'Donoghue, Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Jake Schatz, Rob Simmons, James Slipper.
Backs: Quade Cooper, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Will Genia, Digby Ioane, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Ben Tapuai.
Date: Friday, May 10
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.0 GMT; 11.40 SA time)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)