Brisbane - The Queensland Rugby Union on Monday announced that Reds stalwart Greg Holmes will leave the side following the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Holmes, 32, has signed a two-year contract with English Premiership side the Exeter Chiefs, from the 2016-17 season onwards.
Holmes, who made his debut for the Reds in 2005 against the Blues in Auckland, has amassed 132 provincial caps for Queensland in his 11 seasons, making him the most-capped Queensland prop of all time. He is just 16 caps short of Queensland’s most-capped player, Sean Hardman, who finished his career with 148 caps in 2010.
Earning 13 Test caps for the Wallabies between 2005 and 2007, Holmes received a recall to the Australian side in 2015 ahead of the Rugby World Cup where he formed part of a dominant Wallabies scrum. He featured in 11 Test matches during 2015, taking his career total Test caps to 24.
“I have a lot of great memories from my past 11 seasons with Queensland. I remember my first match against the Blues in Auckland back in 2005, it was a pretty rude awakening to Super Rugby but it’s something I’ll never forget.” Holmes told the Reds’ official website.
“I’ve experienced both good and bad times with the Reds, winning a Super Rugby title while also finishing with the wooden spoon, I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum but I’ve loved every minute of it.
“It’s sad to go but I feel that it is my time. I was brought up here at Ballymore, it’s been my home for my whole career and I love this place.
“I’ve still got one year to go with the Reds and being my last year in Queensland it’s going to be tough emotionally, especially when the time comes to wear the jersey for the last time, but I’ve had a special time as part of the Reds and I’m looking forward to making the most of the 2016 season.”
Queensland Rugby Union Executive General Manager - Reds, Daniel Herbert, paid tribute to Holmes as a player and a man and said he would be leaving the Reds with the blessing of the organisation and all its followers.
“Greg has been one of the Reds’ unsung heroes over the last decade and holds a special place within Queensland Rugby,” he said.
“He has helped inspire a new generation of rugby fans this year as part of the Wallabies side that reached the Rugby World Cup final. His test recall at the age of 32 is testament to his work ethic.
“I’m sure our players and fans will ensure that Greg’s last season with the Reds is one we will all remember in years to come.
“We wish him well with his move to the Exeter Chiefs.”
In recognition of his commitment to Queensland Rugby over more than a decade, Holmes will be given a fitting farewell at the Reds’ final home game of the 2016 regular season in Round 17 against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday, July 15.