Australian Rugby
Hodgson commits to Western Force
ESPNscrum Staff
April 19, 2011
Western Force flanker Matt Hodgson looks for an opening, Western Force v Stormers, Super Rugby, ME Bank Stadium, Perth, Australia, April 2, 2011
Hodgson is hoping to add to his four Test caps for the Wallabies © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Matt Hodgson
Tournaments/Tours: Super Rugby
Teams: Australia | Force

Western Force loose forward Matt Hodgson has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union and the Perth-based Super Rugby franchise.

The 29-year-old Wallabies international, second only to skipper Nathan Sharpe in appearances for the Force, was the only player to start and finish every game for the side last season and his performances at provincial level were rewarded with his international debut against Fiji June last year.

And Hodgson, who follows in the wake of club-mates Ben McCalman and Sharpe by agreeing a new deal, admitted the chance to gain more experience at Test level was a key factor in his decision.

"Getting the taste of Test rugby last year was great," he said. "Playing for my country was certainly something that I had always wanted to achieve. Hopefully there will be more opportunity [for me] in the future as well.

"I like letting my rugby do the talking. I enjoying doing the stuff that goes under the radar and I go out to do whatever is best for the team. I take a lot of heart from being able to contribute in the team environment.

"There has been some tough stuff that we've been through at the club but you can't enjoy the good times without having to do the hard yards and I think we've done that, particularly this season. With a continued strong work ethic there are good things to come.

"The best way to improve as a player is to put yourself around not only the country's best but the world's best and I really enjoy playing with the group of back rowers we have at the club. As a unit we're always looking to improve and become even more of a decisive factor in games for the team," added Hodgson.

Coach Richard Graham said Hodgson is part of a core group of players that will take the club forward and is delighted to have him extend his time in Western Australia. "His quiet and committed approach has earned the respect of his team mates and he exemplifies what we're looking for in a player and a leader at the Emirates Western Force," said Graham said.

"Matt goes about his business without fuss but with plenty of purpose. He fully understands the level of work required to be a consistently good player in this competition and leads by the example he displays on the field."

Hodgson has missed the club's last two outings after suffering a shoulder injury in the week seven clash against the Rebels but isn't far away from returning to the field after making excellent progress in his rehabilitation.

The full list of players that have re-signed with the Australian Rugby Union this year is:
Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels), Matt Hodgson (Western Force), Rob Horne (NSW Waratahs), James Horwill (Queensland Reds), Ben McCalman (Western Force), Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs), Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs)

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