Homecoming for 'Scottish' Holmes

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 08:26
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Former Stormers flank Tyrone Holmes could make his Test debut against the country of his birth when the Springboks face Scotland in Port Elizabeth.

Former Stormers flank Tyrone Holmes could make his Test debut against the country of his birth when the Springboks face Scotland in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The abrasive openside flank who left Cape Town in 2012 qualifies to play for Scotland thanks to his Peebles-born father, and after an impressive year at Glasgow Warriors looks set to be given an opportunity to show what he can do in the Test arena by new coach Vern Cotter.

With another South African-born flank Dave Denton ruled out through injury Cotter called up the Glasgow trio of experienced prop Euan Murray and flanks Holmes and Adam Ashe.

The 28-year-old attended Fish Hoek High School and played for the WP Under-21 team in 2007, before making his Vodacom Cup debut for Province in 2008.

He joined Griquas in 2008 and played three matches for the Kimberley-based union, before moving abroad to the United Kingdom where he had stints with Penzance and Cornish Pirates in England's first division.

He then returned to Cape Town in 2011 and worked his way back into the WP set-up by playing for club side Hamilton, culminating in him being an ever-present in the Province loose trio during their victorious 2012 Vodacom Cup campaign.

That form saw him force his way into the Stormers team at the back-end of the Super Rugby season and he was also a part of the Currie Cup-winning side that year before heading abroad.

He first moved to Italy to play for club side Petrarca before signing for Glasgow about a year ago and stating then that his dream was to play for the Scottish national side.

Although the team to face the Springboks will only be announced on Thursday, Holmes said that if he gets the opportunity to take the field it will be a great honour.

"If I pull on that jersey I will feel extremely proud and privileged, not many get to play Test rugby and represent their country so if I get a chance to do that it will be a great achievement," he said.

Having played most of his rugby in South Africa, Holmes believes his familiarity with the opposition and their playing style will give him an advantage on Saturday.

"Obviously growing up in South Africa I have played against all of them in the Currie Cup so it will be nothing new to come up against the Boks this weekend so I am pretty excited because I think I have an edge there," he said.

Known for his impact at the breakdown, Holmes is hoping to target the Boks in the tackle area and cause some disruptions to their momentum.

"I am hoping to bring some work ethic and just be tough at the breakdown and obviously bring the same as I bring to Glasgow Warriors - some work rate on defence and tough at the breakdown again," he explained.