Hodgson wants to bookend his season
NICK TAYLOR DURBAN, The West Australian May 14, 2010, 6:53 am
WA News / Mal Fairclough © Enlarge photo
When the Western Force take on the Sharks tonight, Matt Hodgson wants to finish his Super 14 season where he started it - on the field.
If he does, then the flanker will be the only Force player to start and finish every game of 2010.
He can't quite claim to have played every minute of the season after being despatched to the sin bin against the Lions in Johannesburg.
But his teammates will forgive him that one glitch after the workload and responsibility he has shouldered this season.
When Force vice-captain and openside flanker David Pocock and No.8 Richard Brown were ruled out for several weeks after injuries in the season opener against the Brumbies, it was Hodgson who put his hand up.
He began life at the Force on the open side but was asked to swap sides by coach John Mitchell two years ago. He also filled the No.8 spot.
It is a measure of his no-nonsense approach that Hodgson simply took it in his stride and got on with the game.
In the absence of Pocock he went back to the No.7 spot.
"It's been an interesting year," he said. "The added pressure of Pocock and Brown missing out through injury … I enjoyed that leadership role.
"I quite enjoyed going back to seven for a while because that's where I started but the way we play with an up-tempo style and quick ball, it's a benefit for us to have two quick, mobile guys and allow Brownie to get on with his running game."
Hodgson has played for Australia A and Australia 7s.
His first full game for the Wallabies ended in disaster when he damaged his shoulder playing against the Barbarians in Sydney last year and was sidelined for nine weeks.
A Barbarians game does not class as a cap and Hodgson, who is one of only 11 indigenous players to represent the Wallabies, will be hoping to get a few of those against his name this coming Test series.