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38-year-old prop's shock Wallabies recall ahead of Springboks test


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Even if he doesn’t snap a five-year test absence, Greg Holmes should still have fond memories of his shock recall to the Wallabies squad on the Gold Coast.


The 38-year-old played 27 tests between 2005-2016 before leaving the Queensland Reds for the English Premiership until making a surprise 2020 return to Australia with the Western Force.

With tighthead props scant in Dave Rennie’s squad and travel restrictions causing logistical nightmares, Holmes was drafted in as injury cover while the side was based in Perth.

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Wallabies prop Greg Holmes and loose forward Pete Samu speak to media ahead of Springboks clash
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Wallabies prop Greg Holmes and loose forward Pete Samu speak to media ahead of Springboks clash

He’s now arrived on the Gold Coast with the team ahead of four tests in four weeks in his native Queensland.

While shocked and thrilled to receive the call from Rennie, there was just one issue.

“I was pretty bloody busy last week,” the expectant father said.

“We had everything set up there in Perth so I had to have some pretty serious talks with my wife.


“I was pretty keen to have a Queensland baby, so we ran around, got everything sorted, got the hospital sorted out over here on the Gold Coast and (we’ll) fly her over here on Thursday.

“So, hoping everything goes to plan and we’ll have a baby boy at the start of October.”

The battle-hardened prop will also provide some rare perspective to a young team licking wounds after a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep.

World champions South Africa and the livewire Argentina await – the Wallabies play the Springboks on the Gold Coast on Sunday – and Holmes is pushing out the positivity.


“I thought (in the two previous tests in Auckland) our scrum was really, really good,” he said.

“I’m trying to get guys not overawed by the situation; when the chips are down, you lose a couple of tests to New Zealand, they need to know it’s not the end of the world.

“If we can impose our game on them (South Africa), it’s only going to benefit us.

“You have to nullify that set piece. They’re a big team but I think we’ve got the players here to do that.

“If we can impose our fast-paced game, get some field position against them, start running them off their feet and make them uncomfortable, that’s how you have to beat them.

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