Hodgson denies divided loyalties as Wolves await
Saturday 18 September 2010
In these days of fixed-term contracts, his situation is hardly unique, but few players' present and future will collide in more pressurised circumstances than for Brett Hodgson today.
Hodgson leads Huddersfield against Warrington in a Super League play-off that will mean elimination for one of them, with the winners one game away from Old Trafford. The 32-year-old Australian full-back has known for months, however, that he will be at Warrington next season.
He claims to have barely given that a second thought and to have devoted all his attention to his remaining days with the Giants. "I'm not going to worry about it maybe being my last game or it being against Warrington," he said. "It's pretty irrelevant."
More to the point for the New South Wales State of Origin player is how much better equipped Huddersfield are this year to progress in the play-offs. Last year, their season ended in anti-climax with defeat by the Catalan Dragons, amid a feeling that the Giants had exhausted their capabilities by reaching the semi-finals.
"This year, it feels better and definitely much better," Hodgson said.
One bonus is Keith Mason's return after a three-match ban and, with no new injuries, Nathan Brown has the dilemma of who to leave out. He knows the Giants will have to be at their best against the two-time Challenge Cup winners, one of whose strengths recently has been the player Hodgson will replace, Richie Mathers.
The former Leeds full-back has been in outstanding form, particularly at Wembley, raising the issue for some Warrington fans of just why it is necessary to replace him with an expensive import almost a decade older. "It's a difficult position for both of us, but we'll each get on with it," Hodgson said.
There is no Richie Myler in the Warrington side, who has picked up a slight ankle injury.
The winners of the match will be a possible choice for St Helens, who will exercise their "club call" option to select their next opponents tomorrow. In effect, Saints will be choosing their opponents for the last-ever game at their historic home, before playing at Widnes next season while their new ground is being built.
Bradford's Dave Halley will miss the start of next season, after being told he will need major surgery on a knee ligament injury.
Sheffield Eagles say that the argument over Sam Barlow playing against them for Halifax in their Championship play-off on Thursday is not over.
Barlow played and scored for Halifax in their 42-16 win, despite his former club's insistence that the terms of his transfer prevented him from doing so. The Rugby League decided they had no grounds to intervene.
"This club will take it on further," said the Eagles coach Mark Aston, who claimed his club had been "stabbed in the back".
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote