HOLMES HEADS TO BRISTOL

Exeter Chiefs man makes short-term switch...

EXETER Chiefs’ back five utility forward Ed Holmes has joined promotion-chasing Bristol on a short-term contract, the GKIPA Championship leaders confirming Sunday’s report in the Indy.

Holmes, 22, has been drafted in due to injury worries following the release of second rows Daniel Tuohy, who departed by mutual consent, and Georgian national team captain Giorgi Nemsadze who joined Ospreys on a short-term deal.

International duo Chris Vui (ankle) and Steven Luatua (knee) are both unavailable for the remainder of the campaign, while Academy locks John Hawkins (knee) and Ehize Ehizode (shoulder) are also unavailable.

The latest player to join the injury list was Joe Latta who was replaced due to a shoulder injury midway through the first half of Bristol’s home victory over Yorkshire Carnegie and has been ruled out for at least the next two games.

Bristol head coach Pat Lam Lam said: “We’re approaching a crucial period of fixtures, so it’s important that we have the depth in key areas. Ed is 22 years old, English-qualified and has been involved in a really strong environment at Exeter.

“We had agreed mutual releases with Dan and Giorgi before we found out about the sad news for Joe Batley [Hodgkin lymphoma] so that obviously wasn’t part of our plan. We’re light in the back five, but injuries are the nature of professional sport.

“We are confident we have the quality to see us achieve our goal this season. We’re grateful to Rob Baxter and Exeter Chiefs for their co-operation in agreeing this loan deal.”

Bristol are eight points away from returning to the Aviva Premiership and next travel to face Nottingham (April 6) in the televised game before hosting Doncaster Knights (April 13) and finally away to Hartpury (April 28).

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.