Wallabies prop Greg Holmes has drawn the curtain on his international rugby career just months after rejuvenating it.
Queensland’s Holmes will link with English Championship club Exeter after the 2016 Super Rugby season, ensuring he won’t add to his 24 Tests.
He played 11 Tests in 2015, ending an eight-year absence when recalled by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and culminating at the World Cup where the noted scrummager was a regular fixture off the bench.
The post-Super Rugby overseas move ensures Holmes can’t be considered for the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship campaign which starts against the All Blacks in Sydney in August.
Only overseas-based players who have had an ARU contract for at least seven years and earned more than 60 caps are available for a Wallabies call-up.
Holmes on Monday confirmed he had signed a two-season deal with Exeter.
“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,” Holmes said.
“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.”
Holmes still has some unfinished business at the Queensland Reds.
He has played 132 times for them since his debut in 2005 and is already the most-capped Queensland prop.
And he may overtake Queensland’s most-capped player, Sean Hardman (148), in 2016 – but only if the Reds can produce a huge form reversal and make the finals.
They play 15 regular season games next year in the revamped Super Rugby competition.
Queensland – the 2011 Super Rugby champions – finished third-last this season with a 4-12 record.
“I’ve experienced both good and bad times with the Reds, winning a Super Rugby title while also finishing with the wooden spoon,” Holmes said.
“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.”
The Reds announced Holmes would receive an official farewell at their final regular season home game against the Melbourne Rebels on July 15.