When Greg Holmes left the Queensland Reds in 2015, the prop never envisaged he’d have to face a team he’d formed a lifelong bond with.

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Holmes was a part of the Reds for a decade, playing over 140 games for the franchise and winning the 2011 Super Rugby championship.

The ex-Wallaby called time on his Reds career to head to England and assumed that was the last time he’d play at Suncorp Stadium.

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Instead, the 37-year-old will be lining up on the opposition team this Friday for the Western Force in the Super Rugby AU competition.

Holmes admits his emotions have been a bit conflicted in the build-up to the match.

“I never envisioned playing against the Reds. That was my team for life,” Holmes said.

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“I spent so long there but it’d be great to knock up a win against them.

“It’s almost sort of reinvigorated me a little bit. It’s a new challenge. It’s just something to look forward to, it’s driving me through the week playing against the Reds.

“I’m actually pretty excited for it.”

Holmes has kept an eye on the Reds since his departure and likes the look of Brad Thorn’s current team, which sits top of the competition after two rounds.

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In contrast, the Force were disappointed to lose 23-14 in their first match back in Super Rugby against the NSW Waratahs.

Holmes believes his new team will be better for the run against the Waratahs.

“Coming in late was a little bit harder because we’ve missed out on the pre-season or the build-up stuff so we’ve sort of had to up speed pretty quickly,” Holmes said.

“The amount of physicality and the effort the guys are putting in, it’s second to none from what I’ve seen over my career. We’ve just got to get the execution right.

“We’re going to be a lot better for that run. I think this weekend we can get out there and show that.”

– Ed Jackson

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