Leicester Tigers and Wales back Jonah Holmes has been ruled out of the remaining fixtures of the season with injury. Holmes will undergo surgery this week after tearing his bicep femoris and will be unavailable for the final three games of the Gallagher Premiership season.
The 26-year-old has made 19 appearances this season for relegation-battling Tigers, scoring six tries, and been capped twice for the Grand Slam-winning Wales team – including his Six Nations debut against Italy.
Speaking about the loss of Holmes, Tigers coach Geordan Murphy said: “He has had a very good season for us and we’ll certainly miss him, especially in a period where we are short of players in those back three positions.”
“His development this season from fringe first-team player to international is due to his hard work and commitment, so I’m certain he will return in top shape to us ahead of next season with that diligence and effort being put in to his rehabilitation.”
Holmes added: “I’m gutted to not be able to play a part in the next three games, starting on Saturday against Bristol at Welford Road, but have every bit of confidence in the lads to get the job done and finish this campaign on a high.”
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) April 23, 2019
The Welsh back started his professional career on the fringes at Wasps before a move to Yorkshire Carnegie became the making of him, securing exposure in the Championship that brought him to the attention of the Tigers who snapped up him in summer 2017.
Holmes’ first inclusion in the Wales squad last November was a surprise as few knew he was Welsh qualified. He had been on Warren Gatland’s radar for a while, though, through the WRU’s Welsh exiles programme. Headed up by former Wales international Andy Lloyd, it’s designed to track players who are Welsh-qualified by birth, parentage or residency.
“He has been on the Exiles list since 2016 as a player to look out for and keep an eye on. They keep that list up to date,” explained Gatland last autumn. “It’s only really been the last couple of weeks having a look at him. It was a pretty impressive performance against Northampton in terms of the players he beat playing full-back.
“Then it was just confirming he was Welsh-qualified and having that conversation with him. It’s nice to have someone like that. He nearly signed for the Scarlets a few years ago. He was in talks with them but that fell through.”
WATCH: Part two of The Academy, the RugbyPass documentary-series on Leicester Tigers
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.