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Hodgson challenges Aussie sledgers

By Jim Morton 07/11/2005 07:54:34 PM Comments (0)

English goalkicker Charlie Hodgson has challenged the Wallabies to sledge him again after regaining the job despite wilting under mental pressure at Twickenham last year.

In a surprise, five-eighth Hodgson was selected as the only specialist goalkicker in England's starting XV for the rugby union Test against Australia on Saturday.

New Zealand-born fullback Mark Van Gisbergan was expected to get the job after playmaker Hodgson cost Andy Robinson's team victory with two simple missed penalties in the Wallabies' 21-19 win 12 months ago.

Hodgson welcomed the chance to redeem himself after Van Gisbergan's recent form slide saw British Lions winger Josh Lewsey preferred at fullback.

He said Wallabies taunts such as "You're going to miss", "Watch the right post" and "make sure you don't slip" that had got under his skin at the time were now driving him.

"The Aussies sledged me last year and I expect that again but it just adds to my motivation," he told reporters in London.

"I'm a lot thicker skinned.

"That sort of stuff does stick in the back of your mind but it also makes you stronger.

"To be honest I'm looking forward to the first comment from the Aussies."

While there is no Jonny Wilkinson, Robinson named a team with six survivors from the 2003 World Cup final win over Australia.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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