Allora’s Greg Holmes
Allora’s Greg Holmes Ben Drewe

Holmes back at Wallaby training

RUGBY UNION: Allora prop Greg Holmes is not getting carried away with the chance to play for Australia for the first time in eight years.

Holmes played the last of his 13 Tests with the Wallabies in 2007 and dropped out of the national squad when he suffered a bulged disc in his neck.

He believes his improved scrummaging in the past two to three years has been a major factor in his selection in the train-on squad.

"I am definitely scrummaging better and am a bit stronger after doing a lot of weights in the past few years," Holmes said.

"Nick Stiles has done a lot of work with me."

Stiles is a retired Australian prop and has worked on the technical side of Holmes' game.

"The work seems to be paying off," he said.

Holmes has never given up hope of returning to Wallabies colours and has had some discussions about his play with new coach Michael Cheika over the phone.

"He is a straight shooter and that is all you can ask for," Holmes said.

"It is exciting to be in the train-on squad for players not in the Super Rugby finals but they still have to add players from the Brumbies and Waratahs.

"We train next week in Brisbane. I thought I was playing well enough to make the squad."

Holmes has been playing tight head prop for the Queensland Reds and getting 60 minutes a game before being replaced by a fresh prop off the bench.

At age 32, Holmes has signed a new deal with the Reds to the end of the 2016 season and after 11 seasons hopes to be a one-team player.

He said the body was holding up well and felt he was right for a few more seasons.

After footy, there is the possibility of becoming a fire fighter, coach, thrower or farmer to name just a few possibilities.

"The fire fighter plans are on the back burner as I am still contracted but I speak to the fire service every now and then.

"The idea of coaching has been floated with me but I am not considering it at this point."

He has stated in the Daily News in the past of the possibility of some more throwing after winning national and state medals and a Daily News/Warwick Credit Union Junior Sports Star of the Year award while at school at Allora State School and Downlands.

"I went to see national champion Matthew Denny from Allora recently and he was pretty impressive. If I did return to throwing, it would be for fun."

Holmes admits carrying bags of potatoes and some physical work on the farm at Allora helped in his development as a rugby forward.

As for returning to the farm one day, his simple comment was he wouldn't write it off.

"I haven't discussed it with my wife Alana at this stage but I love it up there at Allora. Whenever I go home, I do something with Dad on the farm."

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