ProfileMatt Hodgson has been part of the backbone of the Emirates Western Force since joining the club for its inaugural season in 2006. The robust and versatile back-rower can play on either side of the scrum or at No.8, and – regardless of the number of his back – is renowned for his high involvement and consistent ball-winning at the breakdown. In 2010, the six-time Wallaby became the third Emirates Western Force member to register 50 games for the club and sits 17 matches shy of being the first to reach a century. ‘Hodgo’ has remained an integral cog in the Emirates Western Force machine, recognised by his three Force Man and back-to-back Player of the Year awards, as well as being appointed Club Captain for the 2013 Super Rugby season. Hodgson returns from an ankle injury that prematurely ended his season last year to help lead the Emirates Western Force in 2013.www.matthodgson.com.auTimeline2002Represents the Australia in the IRB Under 21 World Championship, including starting at flanker in their 24-21 final loss to South Africa in Johannesburg; starting flanker for the Shute Shield-winning Eastwood team; named man-of-the-match in the premiership-winning match against Sydney University; named the SMH Player of the Year.2003Starting member of Eastwood’s Tooheys New Cup premiership-winning side that defeats Randwick 29-14 in the grand final.2005Member of the 2004/05 Australian side that finishes seventh in the IRB World Sevens Series; member of the Eastwood side that finishes runner-up to Sydney University (41-5) in the Tooheys New Cup; finishes runner-up in NSW Rugby’s Ken Catchpole Medal; starts off the bench for Australia A in their 23-19 loss to the Junior All Blacks in Canberra; signs with the Emirates Western Force.2006Starts at openside flanker in the Emirates Western Force’s inaugural match against the Brumbies in Perth; plays 12 matches for the Emirates Western Force; named the inaugural Force Man.2007Plays eight matches during the Super Rugby season; receives the Force Man award for a second consecutive season.2008Plays 10 matches for the Emirates Western Force; scores his maiden Super Rugby try in the 22-21 win over the Chiefs in Perth; represents the Australian side that finishes eighth in the IRB World Sevens Series; starts for Australia A in their 20-15 win over Samoa during the Pacific Nations Cup.2009Plays all 13 matches for the Emirates Wester Force; crowned the Emirates Western Force Player of the Year; makes his Wallabies debut (non-cap) in Australia’s 55-7 win over the Barbarians in Sydney but sustains a shoulder injury; selected for the Wallabies’ ‘Grand Slam’ Spring Tour, starting in the 36-5 win over Gloucester and named man of the match in the 31-3 victory over Cardiff.2010Starts every match for the Emirates Western Force; becomes the third player to reach 50 matches in the 16-15 win over the Stormers in Perth; named Emirates Western Force Player of the Year and Force Man; makes his Test debut off the bench in the Wallabies’ 49-3 win over Fiji in Canberra; earns a further two caps against England and one against New Zealand; selected for both Australian Barbarians matches against England, starting in the 28-all draw in Perth and off the bench in the 15-9 loss in Gosford; selected for the Wallabies’ Spring Tour, earning a cap off the bench in the 32-14 win over Italy and starting in both tour matches against Leicester (won 26-15) and Munster (lost 15-6), named Man of Gold in both matches.2011Plays 13 matches for the Emirates Western Force; earns his first Test start against Samoa in Sydney; adds a further cap against South Africa in the Tri Nations Series; scores a try for the Australian Barbarians in their 38-14 win over Canada; called into the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad to replace the injured Wycliff Palu; selected for the Wallabies’ Spring Tour, starting at openside flanker in the 60-11 win over the Barbarians in London; receives the RUPA Academic Award. 2012Plays 14 matches for the Emirates Western Force; captains the Emirates Western Force to their 42-0 midseason win over South Australian President’s XV in Adelaide; an ankle injury suffered in Week 16 against the Brumbies ends his season; named Club Captain for the 2013 season.
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