Wallaby back rower Matt Hodgson was on Friday named new captain of the Western Force.
He will take over the responsibilities of team captain until one is appointed prior to the 2013 Super Rugby season.
Hodgson was a member of the inaugural Western Force squad in 2006 and has played 83 Super Rugby matches for the club, a total that sits second only to Nathan Sharpe (92 matches).
The six-time capped Wallaby has been one of the club’s most consistent performers over seven years, claiming the Western Force Player of the Year twice (2009 and 2010) as well as winning the Force Man Award on three occasions (2006, 2007 and 2009), recognising his commitment to the club both on and off the field.
In 2011, Hodgson was the recipient of the Rugby Union Players Association Academic Award, recognising his investment in his off-field development that has seen him complete a Bachelor of Science, and currently working towards a Masters in Sports Law.
In June this year he captained the Western Force to a 42-0 win over the South Australian President’s XV in Adelaide.
Hodgson says he’s excited about leading the Western Force in the lead-up to the 2013 season.
“This is a great honour,” he said. “I’ve always thought of myself as being a leader by example but now I have the opportunity to stand in front of these guys and lead them into action.
“I want to still lead by example and that includes everything both on and off the field.
“Everyone’s excited about the new chapter we get to write next year. We have lost a couple of excellent players in David [Pocock] and Sharpie [Nathan Sharpe] but this playing group will go from strength to strength.
“We’ll focus about us as a team, we’ll have that team mentality and we know that the team is greater than one player and we’ll be stronger for that.
“With the appointment of a new coach and captain, this provides a new direction for the team and everyone’s really excited about that. All the players are getting right behind this and looking to increase their responsibility within the team.”
New Western Force coach Michael Foley says Hodgson is an acknowledged leader within the rugby community.
“Hodgo represents everything good in team sport,” he said. “He’s a selfless supporter, he’s someone who gives 100 per cent every week and he displays all the qualities we hope to build into the squad over the next year or so.”
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