Haydon Hodge talks to Raiders TV ahead of the Dick Smith Auckland Nines about his excitement to play in the tournament, the obstacles he has had to overcome and his hunger to play in the NRL.
The name Haydon Hodge may be relatively unknown to the majority of Raiders fans but rest assured, the kid can play.
Hodge was a star of the Raiders’ junior grades and represented the Australian Schoolboy’s in 2009, scoring a hat-trick of tries against a touring Great Britain side at GIO Stadium.
With his star on the rise, disaster rudely struck with Hodge suffering repeat knee injuries in 2011 and again in 2013 whilst playing NSW Cup for Mounties. Complications with his knee then enforced a year-long layoff in 2014 to ensure that his knee fully recovered.
Knowing the uncapped potential and strong character that Hodge possesses, Recruitment Manager David Hamilton provided Hodge with light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a 2015 pre-season contract, on the proviso that he not play any form of rugby league during 2014.
It looks to have worked a treat with Hodge flourishing during the pre-season.
Hodge leads the backs in testing results for the 1200 metre run and in the prone bench pull and is placed in the top three for bench press, bench throw, anaerobic testing and speed testing.
The Canowindra junior is lightning quick, deceptively strong and capable of playing fullback, centre and wing; attributes which are set to see him flourish at the Nines and hopefully land a full-time NRL contract.
Author: Simon McGuinness I Twitter: @Simon_mcg1