Brett Hodgson : biography
Brett Hodgson (born 12 February 1978 in Liverpool, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for Warrington of Super League. A New South Wales State of Origin representative goal-kicking fullback, he has previously played club football in the National Rugby League (NRL) for the Western Suburbs Magpies, Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers (with whom he won the 2005 NRL premiership), and in Super League for Huddersfield (with whom he won the 2009 Man of Steel Award).
An Eagle Vale (Campbelltown) junior, Hodgson was graded to the Western Suburbs Magpies. He made his first-grade debut under coach Tommy Raudonikis in round 11 of the 1997 ARL season, when Wests met the South Queensland Crushers at Campbelltown Stadium.
In 2008, Hodgson was the last remaining pre-2000 Western Suburbs Magpies' footballer playing in the NRL, before the return of John Skandalis in 2009, and Ray Cashmere in 2012.
In 1999, Hodgson turned down a position with the new Wests and Balmain Tigers joint venture club, Wests Tigers, and, to obtain a fullback position, he signed with Parramatta for the 2000 NRL season. Hodgson's 2000 season was cut short following a high tackle from Cronulla's Mitch Healey, breaking his jaw.
The 2001 season was a successful one for Hodgson and Parramatta. Hodgson was selected for City Origin and the club made it to the grand final. Described as a "lethal, attacking full-back", Hodgson played at fullback and scored two tries in Parramatta's loss to the Newcastle Knights in the 2001 NRL grand final. During his time at the Eels, Hodgson was the recipient of Gordon Tallis's famous slingshot tackle, whilst was representing NSW in the 2002 State of Origin series. In 2003, Hodgson's final year at Parramatta was cut short in round 16 with a rib injury.
Hodgson returned to Campbelltown when he signed with the Wests Tigers in 2004. Hodgson's successful 2005 season resulted in the Dally M Fullback of the Year and the NRL competition's leading pointscorer with 308 points, the most points ever scored by a fullback in one season. He went on to play and kick five goals in the Tigers' 2005 NRL Grand Final victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.On 23 July 2006, midway through the first half of the clash between Wests Tigers and his former club, Parramatta Eels, Hodgson sustained medial and cruciate ligament injuries and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
In Round 12 of the 2007 NRL season, Hodgson fractured his cheekbone in the match against the Parramatta Eels. After surgery to repair the fracture, Hodgson was sidelined for seven rounds and returned in Round 20 for his 200th first-grade game, a resounding win against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Salary cap restraints at the Wests Tigers forced Hodgson to look elsewhere for a contract for the 2009 season. He played his last game for the Wests Tigers on 7 September 2008 and although the club failed to make the top eight, they did send Hodgson out with a win against the Gold Coast Titans, 28–12. Hodgson was named Man of the Match. At the club's end of season awards, Hodgson was voted the Members' Player of the Year for 2008.
Hodgson signed a two year deal to play in the UK for Huddersfield from 2009. In February, 2009, Hodgson was named team captain, replacing Chris Thorman. He played for Huddersfield at fullback in the 2009 Challenge Cup final, as they lost to Warrington.
Hodgson was awarded with the Super League's 'Man of Steel' Award after his first season with Huddersfield, becoming only the fourth Australian to win the prestigious award since it was introduced in 1977. In April 2010 it was announced that Hodgson has signed for Super League rivals Warrington from 2011 on a two year contract. His final day as an official Huddersfield player was on 7 October 2010.
Hodgson become the first choice fullback for Warrington in the 2011 season, leading Wire to the league leader's shield, but they fell at the quarter-final stage of the Challenge Cup (to Wigan) and semi-final stage of the Super League play-offs (to Leeds). Due to an injury early in the 2012 season, and a rotation policy, he shared fullback duties with Stefan Ratchford, being used mainly for the more important games. Two days before Warrington beat Wigan 30-10 in the league, it was announced that 10 Warrington players had signed contract extensions, including Hodgson for a further two years, taking him to the end of the 2014 season when he will be 36.
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