GLASGOW’S new openside flanker Tyrone Holmes emerged from his first Heineken Cup game with a crucial first club try, the man of the match award and renewed hope that his move to Scotland could fulfil an international dream.
The 27-year-old joined Glasgow from Italian club Petrarca, having made his name with Western Province in his native South Africa, and was a key figure in the 20-16 win over Exeter. His try proved the clincher and topped off a fine all-round display alongside formidable No 8 Josh Strauss and Rob Harley in the home back row.
While Strauss has to wait until 2015 to qualify for Scotland, Holmes’ father is from the Borders and, while reluctant to talk about the potential for a call-up to Scotland duties quite yet – coach Scott Johnson is due to announce his 40-man autumn Test training squad on Tuesday and team-mate Chris Fusaro is currently ahead of him in the queue – he admitted he would be delighted even to be in the coach’s thinking.
“My dad was born in Peebles and that [playing for Scotland] is a huge ambition of mine,” he said.
“It was my Heineken Cup debut and I just wanted to give it everything, and it was a great way to finish it off with a try and being part of a winning Glasgow side.
“I have to stay focused just now and try and be in the starting line-up for next week, but, of course, playing for Scotland would be a dream come true for me. If I end up being in the [autumn] squad I will be ecstatic.
“But I am very happy with all our performances. We have incredible competition with [Chris] Fusaro, [Richie] Vernon, Harley and Strauss. Each one of us needs to be at our best every chance we get. I have made two starts and two off the bench in the league for Glasgow, but I’m enjoying it. This is a great set-up and I have settled in well.”
He added: “The weather did not help either side today but we believed in ourselves and we said if we kept the pressure on they would crack.”