Home is where Hodge is

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Reece Hodge has been the Melbourne Rebels chameleon this year and as long as he’s playing, it doesn’t bother him.

Hodge’s Super Rugby debut against the Force in round one saw him named on the wing before switching to fullback and then flyhalf amid injury carnage, but he has found his home in the centres in recent weeks.

“It was pretty tough the first game being named on the wing and then Jack (Debreczeni) pulling out, so I was playing fullback and (then) playing 10, 12 and doing all the kicking when I wasn’t planning on doing it,” he said.

“It was a bit of a spanner in the works but the preparation in the pre-season and trials stood me in good stead.”

While he did stress his flexibility in positions, it’s the centres where he feels most comfortable.

“I did play centre all last year for my club team and I’m probably comfortable there at the moment,” he said.

“I’m happy to play anywhere but getting my hands on the ball early getting into the game in defence, I quite enjoy that aspect,” he said.

“Positions like fulback, 10 and the wing have their positives as well. Wherever I get played, I just want to put my best foot forward.

Reece Hodge has scored seven tries this season. Photo: Getty ImagesHodge leads the Australian conference in tries scored this season, having crossed seven times in his debut Super Rugby year, but he deflected much praise on to his teammates.

“You always love getting across the chalk,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting to score that many but I don’t’ do it for individual accolades.

“I’ve been on the end of good moves and good support play, it’s just been luck of the draw, really.

“I always have prided myself on my support play so whenever I see the play up ahead I try to get on the end of it and get across the chalk.”

The Rebels take on the Force this Sunday afternoon, the reversal of Hodge’s debut fixture and while he is more settled this time around, he said he wouldn’t be taking too much from that first outing.

“It’s a completely different opposition, there’s been a lot of personnel changes for us and for them,” he said.

The Rebels take on the Force on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm AEST LIVE on FOXSPORTS 2 502.