While his Jersey team-mates have been resting and recuperating
after a long season, flanker Ryan Hodson has been in action against
All Black stars like Kieran Read and Richie McCaw.
Ryan (pictured above), who joined Jersey at the end of
February this year, was temporarily released by Head Coach Harvey
Biljon during May to provide cover for Western Force, the Super
Rugby side based in his native Perth, Western Australia.
After travelling from Jersey to South Africa in early May, Ryan
joined the Force squad prior to matches against the Cheetahs in
Bloemfontein and the Stormers in Cape Town. He then headed back to
Perth for the home game against another South African team, the
Having not quite managed to make the match-day squad for the
first three games, the 24-year-old was then part of the touring
Force squad who headed to the South Island of New Zealand for the
match against the Christchurch-based Crusaders.
Coach Michael Foley selected Ryan among the Force replacements
for last Friday's game at Lancaster Park, now known as AMI Stadium,
and in the closing stages of the game he was called on to make his
Super Rugby debut.
Ryan replaced number 8 Angus Cottrell, and faced a Crusaders
back row made up of 100% All Blacks: McCaw, Read and replacement
Luke Whitelock, whose brothers Sam and Adam were also on the field.
Big names such as Israel Dagg and Andrew Ellis had also been in the
Canterbury line-up before being replaced earlier in the game.
The Crusaders, third of 15 teams in the current Super Rugby
rankings, won the match 30-7 although were denied a try bonus point
by determined Force defence. The Australian side still have a
chance of making the end-of-season play-offs, lying seventh in the
table with three games remaining.
Super Rugby now has a four-week break for the June international
window. While McCaw (pictured above) and his All Blacks
colleagues await the three-match series against England, Ryan will
return to Europe later in the month to join his Jersey team-mates
in preparing for the 2014-15 season in the Greene King IPA
Biljon explained: "Although the majority of our squad needed
rest after a long season, Ryan hadn't played much rugby until his
Jersey debut in March [he made seven appearances for the Islanders
thereafter], so he was well-placed to provide cover to the Force.
In the circumstances I was happy to release him for a month, and
it's a great accolade that he was selected for his Super Rugby
07 Dec 2022
Biljon's side seek eighth straight league win this season