Super Rugby Pacific: Veteran Western Force trio call time on their careers

Date published: May 27 2022 - David Skippers

Western Force trio Greg Holmes, Richard Kahui and Jeremy Thrush have announced that they will call time on their careers at the end of the season.

Holmes, who represented the Wallabies in 27 Tests, started his career with the Reds where he won the Super Rugby title in 2011. In 2020, the front-row joined the Force from Exeter Chiefs where he also won the Premiership title in 2017.

The 38-year-old has been crucial to the Western Force cause with his experience proving invaluable.

Enjoyable stint at the Force

“I’ve had a long career, and I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved. It’s the right time for me. I thought I was going to finish up a few years ago in England, so it’s been great to return to Australia and finish my career here,” Holmes told the Force’s official website.

“I’ve loved my time at the Force, there’s an unbelievable group of people here. Alana (wife), Bodhi (son), and I now call Perth home, which is the ultimate compliment I can give.

“I can’t thank my wife Alana, and my Mum and Dad enough for their support over the years.”

Since joining the Force from Premiership side Gloucester in 2018, Thrush has become a popular member of the Perth-based outfit’s senior squad.

Capped 12 times by the All Blacks, the second-row started his Super Rugby career with the Hurricanes and he played in more than 100 matches for them.

Since joining the Force, the 36-year-old has been an influential member of their squad and made 38 appearances for them at Super Rugby level.

“The support of the fans has been amazing, I’ve been blown away by it week in and week out,” said Thrush.

“This last chapter at the Force has been some of the most enjoyable of my career. The camaraderie we’ve had has been fantastic. I’ve turned up every day here with a smile on my face, and I’ve loved being a part of it.

“To see so many young players come here and go on to forge Super Rugby and international careers has been one of my favourite things to take out of my time here.”

Thrush’s fellow New Zealander, Kahui, was part of the All Blacks’ 2011 World Cup triumph and also won a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs in 2012. He represented his country in 17 Tests.

Kahui, who is 36, initially played for the Highlanders in Super Rugby and has played in 97 matches in the tournament of which 31 was for the Force.

He joined the Force in 2020 and has become an important player for the team after spending seven seasons with Japanese Top League club Toshiba Brave Lupus.

“I’d like to thank Tim Sampson for giving me the call to join the Force. He’s a great man that cares about his players, so I’ll always be grateful to him. There are so many guys in this team that I’ve got great memories and friendships with,” he said.

“Most of my favourite moments are based around winning with the Force, the All Blacks and the Chiefs. One of the things I’ve found really special has been the time in the sheds after a game, as it’s always been a chance to reflect and appreciate the journey.

“I’ve absolutely loved it here at the Force. It’s been a great three seasons. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything the Western Force is trying to grow. The fans have been so loyal and loud, so it’s been special to have their support.”

Western Force general manager of rugby Matt Hodgson was full of praise for the retiring trio.

“I’d like to congratulate Jerry (Thrush), Kaks (Kahui), and Homer (Holmes) on their outstanding careers, in particular their time at the Force,” he said.

“They are players and people who have given their all to the Force on and off the field, having played integral roles since joining the club.

“On behalf of the entire organisation, I’d like to wish them and their families all the very best for the future.”

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