2016 was a breakout year for Rebels utility back Reece Hodge, but make no mistake the Wallabies Rookie of the Year is hungry for more success in the Victorian capital this coming Super Rugby season.
Hodge was first called up to the Wallabies squad by Michael Cheika for last year’s June series against England and the 22-year-old is determined to back up his performances for the Rebels after reflecting on a memorable debut season.
“I was lucky enough to make the most of my opportunities in my first year at the Rebels and obviously by making the next step up with the Wallabies, so it was a really enjoyable (2016) season and I’m looking to back that up again,” Hodge said.
After making his Wallabies debut in Wellington against the All Blacks, Hodge is wary of the dreaded second year syndrome, but not fazed by the challenge.
“I think the key (areas) for me to focus on will be my consistency and making sure each area of my game is as solid as it can be.” - Reece Hodge
“I’m hoping that I can use the experiences from last year to be a driving force in the Rebels backline for the year ahead.”
Hodge is undoubtedly eager for more Wallabies game time after a mixed Spring Tour.
“Obviously losing the last two games on tour only spurs me on as a player and I really want to get to that level again this year and push my case for more chances with the Wallabies."
Despite being happy to play anywhere in the team, Hodge is seemingly optimistic of finding more time in the centres at the Rebels under Head Coach Tony McGahan and newly appointed Assistant Coach and former Wallaby centre Morgan Turinui.
“I’m always happy to play for wherever the team needs me but I really enjoyed my time in the centres on the end of year tour, and I’m looking forward to hopefully nail down that position this year for the Rebels.”
The Melbourne Rebels kick off the Super Rugby season against the Auckland Blues, become a Rebels member in 2017, head to melbournerebels.com.au