Jersey sign Aussie flanker Hodson03/03/2014
Ryan Hodson, a 24-year-old native of Perth, Western Australia with experience of Super Rugby, has joined Jersey RFC. The Islanders' Head Coach Harvey Biljon has moved to strengthen his squad for the final two months of the season, and snapped up Hodson just ahead of the transfer deadline on February 28th.
Hodson (pictured below) arrived last Thursday after flying from Sydney but was not considered for Jersey's game against the Cornish Pirates on Sunday, although he travelled with the squad in order to begin getting to know his new team-mates.
"Ryan is an out-and-out openside, although there's no doubt he could fit in as a number 8 if need be," said Biljon. "I believe he's got the potential to add some real spark to our side in both defence and attack.
"We have had a number of injuries in the back row since I came to Jersey, and going into a crucial stage of the season I was keen to add another option."
Returning to Australia in 2012 after a year studying and playing rugby at the University of California, Hodson made two appearances as a replacement for the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby tournament season. He has since played his rugby for Sydney club Eastern Suburbs in the New South Wales Premiership, winning the club's 'Best & Fairest' award at 1st XV level in 2013.
Speaking after watching his new side claim a valuable bonus point at the Mennaye Field, Hodson said he was pleased to be fulfilling an ambition to broaden his rugby horizons by playing in Europe.
"I'm English-qualified through my grandmother, who lived in Manchester, so it's always been something that I was interested in doing," he said. "I hope I can add a new element to my game while I'm here."
Hodson, who has signed a contract stretching to the end of the 2014/15 season, said his first impressions of Jersey were positive, with an opportunity to hit the beach during his time off, as he would do at home in the Perth beach suburb of Cottesloe.
The new signing will be in contention for a place in Jersey's squad for this weekend's home match against promotion-chasing Leeds Carnegie, which will also feature the return of Jersey old boys Nathan Hannay and David Doherty to St Peter. Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm.