Sam Switches codes! Haverhill Rovers ace feels more at Holmes at rugby club

Football - Haverhill Rovers (red) v Hadleigh.  Rovers number 2 Sam Holmes shoots on goal ANL-141214-210610009
Football - Haverhill Rovers (red) v Hadleigh. Rovers number 2 Sam Holmes shoots on goal ANL-141214-210610009
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Haverhill Rovers’ defender Sam Holmes has switched codes, moving across town to play for Haverhill Rugby Club.

Holmes, 27, who spent seven years at the Rovers, has not been a regular in the starting line-up this season, so he has been training with the Castle Playing Fields club, and made his first team debut at the weekend.

It was something of a baptism of fire as Haverhill were beaten 48-7 by Bury St Edmunds Wolves in their Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division Two West match on Saturday.

Holmes played at centre on Saturday, but said he had enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a lot more physical, but everyone at the club was as good as gold and encouraging.”

Haverhill are away to Cambridge IV in the league on Saturday, and Holmes is hoping to be in the squad.

Rugby is not a new sport for him.

Before joining Rovers, he played at Hundon, and when football matches were called off he turned his hand to the occasional Saturday game of rugby.

Holmes, who was made captain by Rovers’ manager Michael Shinn in October last year, missed a number of games at the start of the season when he got married.

“They had a good run, and I found myself on the bench when I came back.

“I’m not getting any younger, I wasn’t in the starting line-up, so I decided to give rugby a go,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Rovers,” said Holmes, who played at both Hamlet Croft and the New Croft.

“If it doesn’t work out I can always go back to football.”

Rovers manager Michael Shinn said Holmes’ move was “a loss for us, the character he is. We will miss him in the dressing room.

“I know he has played rugby before, so good luck to him. But if he does want to come back, the door is always open.”