Hodgson claims Force player of the year - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodgson claims Force player of the year

By Justin Chadwick 03/07/2009 11:09:25 PM Comments (0)

Flanker Matt Hodgson has capped off a dream Super 14 season by taking out the Western Force's Player of the Year Award on Friday night.

Hodgson was a runaway winner on 286 points, with Brumbies-bound Matt Giteau finishing second on 226.

Wallabies David Pocock (223), James O'Connor (141) and Drew Mitchell (117) rounded out the top five.

Hodgson was a shining light in the No.6 guernsey this season, playing all 13 games and combining with Pocock, Richard Brown and Tamaiti Horua to form a formidable back row contingent.

The 28-year-old was rewarded for his stunning form with a call-up to the Wallabies Test squad.

He is yet to officially earn a Test cap after injuring his shoulder against the Barbarians last month, but his inclusion in the 30-man Tri-Nations squad should mean it's only a matter of time before he gets off the mark.

"Winning as a team is obviously the goal, but having said that it is rewarding to have your efforts recognised by your peers," Hodgson said.

"I was pretty satisfied with my form, but we had some terrific individual performers this year so it was a shock to even be in the mix really.

"I know that all the boys would swap an individual honour for a chance to play finals.

"Unfortunately we just couldn't get over the line in some close games this year, which probably cost us a top four berth in the end." Hodgson said the Force were well placed to push for a maiden finals berth in 2010.

"We have probably under-performed in the past few years," he said.

"Next year we will have a different looking squad, but it will still have class at every position.

"The club has recruited well, with Andre Pretorius, Matt Dunning, Brett Sheehan, Nic Henderson and Tim Fairbrother all quality players capable of playing at international level." O'Connor took out the Rising Star award, prop Pek Cowan won the Force Man award and Pocock was the Members' MVP.

Hodgson becomes the fourth different winner of the main prize, joining Scott Staniforth, Giteau and Ryan Cross in claiming the award.

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