Force’s Hodgson aims to go out with a bang

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    One more match followed by six months of celebrations.

    That’s the plan for retiring Western Force veteran Matt Hodgson as he gears up for his farewell rugby match. Hodgson will hang up the boots following Saturday night’s Super Rugby clash with the NSW Waratahs in Perth, and he hopes to go out with a memorable win.

    The 35-year-old has been sidelined for the past five weeks with a torn calf. But he has declared himself fit for his finale, saying he can go 80 minutes if needed.

    Hodgson will be remembered as the most influential figure in the Force’s history. As a player, he was talented and fearless. As a leader, he was a rock – especially this year during the Force’s fight for survival.

    The Force’s future hangs in the balance, and Hodgson will continue the fight for their survival beyond this weekend. But for now, Hodgson is fully focused on helping the Force snare a win that could see them finish second in the Australian conference.

    And his plans for after the game?

    “We’re all catching up for a few drinks for the next six months,” Hodgson said with a laugh.

    “That will be pretty exciting – actually stopping.

    “I’m pretty excited. I’m enjoying every moment I get to be out with the boys.

    “It probably won’t hit me until that final hooter goes.”

    A little-know fact is Hodgson actually started his career at the Waratahs, but serious injuries to his ankle, shoulder, and knee meant Hodgson never got to play a game for his home-town club.

    The knee injury was so bad, Hodgson feared he would never play rugby again.

    But Hodgson eventually recovered from the reconstruction and was thrown a rugby lifeline by the Force when he was the last man signed to their inaugural roster ahead of their 2006 debut.

    Hodgson has played a club-record 139 games for the Force, notched 11 caps for the Wallabies, and become a respected figurehead in Australian rugby. As a player director of the rugby union Players’ Association, Hodgson has become a critic of the ARU’s decision to cull an Australian franchise.

    Hodgson wants both the Rebels and the Force to survive, saying a 16-team competition is the preferred model among players.

    He believes the Force could win the title in 2019 if they stay in the competition.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm
      piru said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      Here’s hoping for a big, convincing win supported by a big, noisy crowd.

      Hodgo deserves it

      • July 12th 2017 @ 12:10am
        Hannes said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

        Will not miss it for anything in the world. Nic Berry is the ref, glad we did not get Hoffman. It will be a very tough match as the Tahs will have something to proof after the lost while the Force will want give Hodgeson a well deserving send off.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:08pm
      MitchO said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

      Yes. Good luck to the great man.
      The sort of leader every club needs. Shows his worth when things are hard.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 11:33pm
      Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

      Yeah a great Sydney product . I hope the rest of the the eastern state Force can give it to the glorified tahs.

      • July 12th 2017 @ 4:50am
        scrumpoacher said | July 12th 2017 @ 4:50am | ! Report

        We’re just the western Sydney side didnt ya know?

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 7:55am
        Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        Wasn’t aware the Central Coast was in Sydney…

      • Roar Rookie

        July 12th 2017 @ 10:48am
        piru said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        You lost the right to call him a Sydney product when you cut him

      • Roar Pro

        July 12th 2017 @ 11:45am
        Crazy Horse said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        That hasn’t been tru for years. There were only four players from NSW in last werk’s 23.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2017 @ 5:25pm
        Timbo (L) said | July 12th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

        WA is a bit like ancient Rome.
        They accepted skilled tradesmen from across the region, many of them outcasts to build one of the greatest cities in the ancient world.

        Coleman, Philip, Meaks, Morahan, Lance, the list goes on. The key is spotting, keeping and nurturing tradesmen and teaming them up with local talent.
        Don’t forget the ones that got way – Godwin, Alcock and Pocock.

        We need to avoid the ARU brand lead pipe Kool-aide that Nero (Pulver) is trying to force us to drink. It is sending us mad and setting us on the path to burn the place to the ground leaving nothing but scorched earth and AFL cockroaches.

        Yeah, I know, that last bit was a bit dark but the imagery helps express how I feel.

    • July 12th 2017 @ 10:51am
      Marto said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

      Hodgey mate , Can u deck that cross eyed pretender 7 in the last minute when the game is out of reach for the Tahs..
      Ta mate…Have a good one…

      • July 16th 2017 @ 12:09am
        sittingbison said | July 16th 2017 @ 12:09am | ! Report

        He did better than deck him…
        Hodgo sledging Hooper during Tahrds demolition:
        “Mate who needs the extra two mill” lol

    • Roar Rookie

      July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am
      piru said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      I thought we’d agreed that unflattering pic of Hodgo would no longer be used?

    • July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am
      wag said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      All the very best to Hodgo and to the Force ! Matt, you certainly deserve to retire on a winning note, and the Force deserve NOT to be cut from Super Rugby.

      { IF they can beat NSW this weekend, they could finish 2nd in the Aust. Conf. with NSW 4th. What will Mr. Pulver & Co. do then??? }

      Matt, you have been an inspiration both on & off the field. If all Aust. players showed the same dedication and determination that you do, then our Super Rugby teams (& the Wallabies) would be much, much more competitive.
      All the very best (from this Queenslander and others) in your retirement. I just hope that the Western Force will be there next year so that you can continue to give them your great support in retirement !!!

      • July 12th 2017 @ 1:34pm
        markie362 said | July 12th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        Well said.goodbye to a champ

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