Jack’s the lad for OldhamDate published: Friday, October 23, 2015
UTILITY back Jack Holmes, a young player who surpassed expectations in his first full season in senior rugby, has been rewarded with a new contract by Oldham RL Club.
The 21-year-old former Leigh man played at full-back, stand-off and centre in the early part of the Roughyeds’ promotion season before making the left-wing spot his own when Jarrod Ward left to take up a job in the south of France.
Holmes finished with 15 tries in 22 games from his adopted position on the left flank and the only player to score more tries than that was right winger Adam Clay, with 21.
The youngster’s instinctive knack of anticipating and reading plays so that he regularly popped up in the right place at the right time was a strength which caught the imagination of head coach Scott Naylor.
“Jack is a vastly under-rated player,” said Naylor. “He loves the game and he’s a proven try scorer. It’s a pleasure to coach him and to have him around, but more than that he’s got something that can’t be coached — an eye for the try line. He’s a great finisher.
“He’s willing to play anywhere for the good of the team. He turned out twice when he shouldn’t have done because of injury, but he did it for the good of the team and the club and that’s Jack all over.
“I’m delighted he’s signed a new deal because he has the ability to do well in the Championship and he’ll certainly be a valued member of the squad.”
Said Holmes: “Before last season I had played very little rugby on the wing, but I was comfortable there and it always helps when you’re scoring a few tries.
“In many ways I found it similar to playing full-back, especially on kick-returns, and I certainly liked the opportunity to score tries.
“Championship rugby is going to be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it and I know the other lads are too.”