Australia
Matt Hodgson happy to forgo weddings and holiday
September 5, 2014
Matt Hodgson looks and feels good in a Wallabies jumper © Getty Images
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Matt Hodgson was meant to be jumping into a suit for a wedding in Noosa this weekend, but he will be pulling on a gold Wallabies jumper instead as he makes his Test comeback against the Springboks in Perth.

The six-Test Western Force skipper thought his Wallabies career was well and truly over when he was overlooked for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He hasn't been back in the Test side since. And he never expected to be called up again. "After the disappointment I had of missing the World Cup and then not getting selected after that, you always think your opportunity has gone by," he said.

But a trip to Australia's east coast was put on ice after he was rewarded for a career-best Super Rugby season with a place on the Wallabies bench against the Springboks at Patersons Stadium on Saturday - his first Test since facing the Boks in July 2011.

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"I've definitely enjoyed putting the holidays on hold to put on the jersey again," Hodgson said. "I was meant to be in Noosa for a few weddings, but hopefully I won't be having any holidays any time soon."

The Force fell just short of making their first Super Rugby finals campaign, but Hodgson was one of several forwards rewarded by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie.

"It was a big team effort," Hodgson said of the Force's season. "Everyone trained hard in the off-season. But I also had a good solid break away from football, just lifting and getting the body and mind right. So I was fresh."

With McKenzie naming a forwards heavy 6-2 split on the bench, there's no doubt the Wallabies are preparing for a typically brutal clash up front. It's a style the Hodgson relishes, and is clearly a reason he's been given the call-up.

"I like the tough stuff in the middle by putting my head where it shouldn't be," he said. "So hopefully at the back end of the game I can really get in there and slow the ball down."

© AAP

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