Hardwick eyes Hodgson's jersey

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:49
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TRANSFER NEWS: Wallaby debutant Richard Hardwick is eager to fill the boots of legendary Western Force flank Matt Hodgson after he re-signed for the 2018 Super Rugby season with the Force.

The former UWA junior was upgraded from the Extended Playing Squad to a full senior squad contract, after an impressive season for the Force in 2017.

Richard, more affectionately known as 'Dickie', says this was an easy decision for him to make, the only place he wants to play his rugby is in Western Australia.

"The Force is where I want to play my rugby, I’ve said that before and I stand by it. WA is my home, it’s where I was brought up, I’ve played all my rugby in WA, played for the state teams and come through the system to reach this point.

"Not only that I’ve got mates who have done the same thing, like Ross Haylett-Petty and Chance Peni who I played with when I was 15. WA Rugby is producing the goods and it’s not going to be long before they are in the Wallabies squad as well,"

The tenacious back row has built his game on tireless defensive efforts and constant pressure on the ball carrier, placing him in the top 10 in the Super Rugby competition for forced turn overs and no doubt a big factor in what caught Wallaby head coach Michael Chieka’s eye.

Hardwick reflects on his whirlwind season as a dream come true and attests much of his development to RugbyWA and the Western Force team.

"It’s awesome, I’m looking forward to another year and putting consistent performances together for the Force. I’ve taken a lot of confidence out of what I’ve been able to achieve this year and can’t wait to go again next year and build on that.

"With ‘Hodgo’ hanging up the boots I want to step up and play in that number seven jersey and try the best I can to fill his boots. He’s a legend of our club and he’s done so much for the club but I’ll do my best and give everything I have to this team,"

Western Force Head Coach Dave Wessels says the re-signing of Hardwick is fantastic news for the club and looks forward to seeing the young flank develop in WA.

"Dickie deserves all the recognition that has come his way recently," he said.

"He’s extremely hard working and plays for those around him, but he also understands that there is plenty more for him to work on. We’re delighted to have him as part of the group in 2018 and beyond,"

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Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28