Tue 4 Mar 2014 | 01:30
Hodgson eyes unlikely ton
Tue 4 Mar 2014 | 01:30
Hodgson eyes unlikely tonSHARE
Captain Matt Hodgson is set to become the first Western Force player to notch up a ton of games against all the odds.
The Western Force skipper's career was at a crossroads during the middle of last decade after he suffered serious knee and shoulder injuries ffollowing an ankle reconstruction. With his body battered and bruised, a rugby career at the elite level looked beyond Hodgson.
But nine years later, and with 99 Super Rugby caps behind him Hodgson is looking back at his illustrious career with fondness.
A dedicated rehabilitation program got Hodgson back on track and inaugural Force coach John Mitchell gave the young flanker his big break.
"I had had three reconstructions in three years, and got told I might not play again after a big knee injury in the sevens," Hodgson told AAP. "I just put my head down and tried to focus on rehab.
"I was lucky enough to catch up with John Mitchell in a one-on-one meeting, and I was lucky enough to fill a roster spot at the Force.
"Moving over here in 2005 I was happy to get one game. Now to reach 100 games is a big achievement for me," he added.
Hodgson played in the Force's first ever game – a 25-10 loss to the Brumbies in 2006 – and he has been a part of the side ever since.
The Force are yet to make the play-offs, and a top-six berth looks beyond them this season after opening their campaign with successive losses.
But Hodgson is confident team success isn't far away, claiming the programme coach Michael Foley has set in place will eventually yield results.
"To get the Force to the top of the table is something I want to do,"the 32-year-old said. "We've built something special under Foles. We've got belief in ourselves. Now it's just about turning it around."
Hodgson is contracted until the end of next season, and the Sydney-born forward hasn't ruled out playing on after that. But his immediate focus is on Saturday night's home clash with the Rebels in Perth.
Perth holds no fears for the Rebels, who have won their past four games against the Force – two of which were in Perth.
"They're unpredictable," Hodgson said. "We're looking for them to come out and play an expansive game."