Having been largely ignored by the NSW Waratahs during his time with the Sydney-based club, back-rower Matt Hodgson decided to cross the Nullabor to achieve his goal of becoming a Wallaby.
He joined the Western Force for its inaugural season in 2006 and since then has won the club’s Player of the Year award on two occasions, in 2009 and 2010. In 2013, Hodgson was appointed the Western Force captain.
In March 2014, he became the first Western Force player to reach 100 games when he led his team to a crushing 32-7 win over the Melbourne Rebels at Perth’s nib Stadium.
Hodgson made his debut in Wallaby Gold early in 2009 against the Barbarians in Sydney, only to disappointingly trudge off the field midway through the first half with a shoulder injury.
The former Australian Sevens captain won his first official Wallabies selection on the 2009 end-of-season tour and his excellent form in the northern hemisphere ensured his retention in the first two Wallabies squads chosen in 2010.
He earned his first Test cap in 2010 against Fiji in Canberra, a match the Wallabies won 49-3. International appearances followed in the next two years against England, Italy, New Zealand, Samoa and South Africa.
Hodgson was considered unlucky to have missed selection in the Wallabies 2011 Rugby World Club squad, but he was later added as a replacement player once the tournament started.
The hard-working and industrious back-rower is contracted to the Western Force until the end of 2015.