Greg Holmes has left the Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect after four years and is heading back to Australia to take up a short-term deal with the Western Force.
Holmes and wife Alana are heading home to Australia, four years after arriving in the Westcountry from former club, Queensland Reds.
🏉 – @wallabies international Greg Holmes confirms he is leaving @ExeterChiefs after four 'very special' years in Devon.— Exeter Chiefs at 🏡 (@ExeterChiefs) June 13, 2020
Read his final interview before he heads to the @westernforce ⬇️https://t.co/RW5dkBcWN7 pic.twitter.com/1nqN8X6HxZ
During that time, the popular 37-year-old forward has been an integral part in helping the Chiefs to continue to establish themselves as a force, not just within the English game, but also on the European stage as well.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Holmes was hoping his final year in Chiefs colours would end on a high note, particularly with the club flying high both in the Gallagher Premiership and the Heineken Champions Cup.Greg Holmes in Premiership action for the Chiefs against Harlequins.
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Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit globally and with rugby in this country shut down since the Chiefs beat Bath back in March, it’s meant the Aussie international could not bow out on the terms he had craved.
“In my head I was going to finish my career with the Chiefs, retire and then move on to the next stage of my life,” he said. “Obviously, Covid-19 stopped all of that, not just for me, but for people around the world. It’s certainly been strange times for all of us and it’s meant that I won’t be able to finish here in Exeter as I wanted.”
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LIST | 5 players from abroad who could be capped by England in the future
These five have shown enough ability or promise to suggest they may be future England stars in waiting.
Foreign-born stars, such as Nathan Hughes and the Vunipola brothers, have already shown how integral they can be for the Red Rose after making the step up to International rugby.
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His Dad Johan Ackermann, who departed as Gloucester boss for Japan earlier this month, confirmed that his son will be staying with the Cherry & Whites to persue international honours, and has already been in contact with Eddie Jones. The imposing number eight qualify for England on residency grounds in August 2020 — just four months before World Rugby’s new eligibility laws kick in.