Hodgson staying in Perth
Captain Matt Hodgson has committed to the long-term plan of the Western Force by re-signing for another two years.
With the Perth team currently in the first phase of its relaunch, the new contract is set to see him become the first player to reach 100 Super Rugby matches for the Force.
The 31-year-old made his Super Rugby debut in the Force’s inaugural Super Rugby match against the Brumbies in 2006, and has amassed 85 matches over eight seasons for the Western Australian side.
Hodgson has been a mainstay in the Force’s back row and was appointed captain of the side for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Hodgson, who has represented the Wallabies on six occasions, says he’s looking forward to seeing through the redevelopment of the Emirates Western Force.
“Having begun my Super Rugby career here, it’s great to have the opportunity to end my career here in the west, and my life after rugby is definitely in Western Australia,” he said.
“Being part of the longer-term development of this side was a big motivation for re-signing. Once I got the captaincy, we discussed with Foles [Michael Foley] the plan for the side, and while it may take a few years, I’m really keen to be part of that and be part of the club improving each year and growing into a successful club.
“There’s a lot of young players coming in and playing their first games of Super Rugby or first games for the Force, and it gives me a lot of motivation to keep playing. The lure of playing 100 caps for the Force its another motivation and it’d be a great achievement to be the first person to achieve that for Western Australian rugby.
“While we’ve been disappointed by the results in the first three weeks, we’ve shown signs of what we’re capable of. We just need to be able to put that together consistently and once we do that we’ll be a real force to contend with.
“My wife and I love living in Perth and we didn’t want to go anywhere else. I’ve been here for eight years now, we’ve got a baby on the way and I’d love to be part of the first father-son rule for the Force.”
Head Coach Michael Foley says Hodgson’s retention was important for continuity in the improvement of the Western Force.
“As we look to build our side over the next three seasons, it’s a significant boost to have Hodgo on board during this period,” he said.
“Based on his commitment over the past eight years, Hodgo has earnt the respect of his teammates, opposition and our supporters and he was a standout candidate for the captaincy this season.
“He’s been heavily involved in helping develop the way we want to play and leading the standards we’ve set for this side, which is crucial in helping us to grow to become the team we want to become.”