Jonah Holmes on verge of Tigers exit? - reports
Wales international Jonah Holmes has been linked with an exit from English club side Leicester Tigers and a switch to a Welsh PRO14 region in a bid to pursue his international career – according to reports.
The Rugby Paper report that Holmes is considering a switch to the Dragons, despite playing his entire professional career to date in England.
Dragons head coach Dean Ryan is apparently eager to add the 6 ft, 100kg wing to the books at the Newport.
The 27-year-old has managed just three caps for Wales since his debut in 2018, when his Welsh eligibility was cashed-in by then Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Holmes last featured for Wales in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in August 2019, but failed to make the plane to Japan. He did however make his way back into the squad for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations under Wayne Pivac.
Holmes – who is eligible to play for Wales through a Welsh grandparent – was a shock call-up to the Welsh squad in 2018.
Under current Senior Player Selection Policy (SPSP), with his current Leicester Tigers’ contract coming to an end, he must now join a Welsh team or forgo playing Test rugby.
Holmes has played his entire club career outside of Wales. Brought up in Ealing, Holmes studied biomedicine at Birkbeck College, University London and started his rugby career at Rosslyn Park joining London Wasps.
Playing at scrum-half or wing, he made five senior appearances for Wasps from 2010/11 and won promotion to National One with Henley Hawks after being dual registered. A loan spell followed at London Scottish in 2012/13 and then with Premiership newcomers London Welsh before being recalled by Wasps.
He moved to Carnegie in 2013/14 and stayed for three seasons before joining Tigers in the summer of 2017, although his days at Welford Road may be numbered if still harbours designs on more Welsh caps.
Loop-holes to the Welsh eligibility system have, however, been previously exploited.
Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis extended his first contract with the club on a number of occasions so that he could continue playing for the Premiership side and Wales, despite not having 60 caps for the club.
The coronavirus pandemic, however, might ultimately scupper Francis, who was set to make 60-caps this year, had it not been for Test match postponements.
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