No Origin 2010 Origin return for Hodges - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Origin 2010 Origin return for Hodges

By Laine Clark 25/05/2010 10:03:49 PM Comments (0)

An Origin return in 2010 has already been ruled out by Justin Hodges despite impressing Broncos staff with his recovery from injury.

Finally cleared to start running after snapping his Achilles in a pre-season training mishap, Hodges has predicted he could be back in the NRL in six weeks putting him on track for an Origin III comeback in July.

But Hodges said it would be "selfish" if he tried to regain his beloved Maroons jersey this season.

"I think I'll hopefully be back by then (Origin III), but playing in that arena and in that sort of competition I'd be kidding myself and my team-mates," Hodges said on the Broncos' website.

"For me to play that would be selfish. I think I'll give it a miss.

"I definitely won't be playing this year unless there are a lot of injuries."

Hodges said he was concentrating more on helping the Broncos get through the Origin period and seal a finals berth.

"The next six weeks are crucial for us. Hopefully I will be back by then and I can help lift the team," he said.

"Last game (win over Gold Coast) was probably our best performance - they played for each other and that's what the Broncos are about."

Hodges has impressed Broncos staff with his attitude during his long rehabilitation.

"It's just another hurdle I have to get over," he said.

"It comes with the job but I am hoping and praying that this is the last one and I can stay on the field.

"I haven't done a pre-season or anything like that so I am just starting mine now.

"Hopefully I can do the hard work and get ready to play soon."

Hodges could soon add to the revitalised Broncos' growing depth.

The Origin period is usually a tough time for Brisbane, but coach Broncos coach Ivan Henjak is unusually spoilt for choice ahead of Saturday night's away clash with the Sharks.

He named a 20-strong squad with Nick Kenny (calf) and Andrew McCullough (pectoral) named to make their return from injury.

But Ben Hunt has kept his spot at hooker despite McCullough coming back from a month-long chest complaint.

Henjak will be sweating on Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday and Israel Folau returning from Origin duty.

"We are at a point now where everyone is contributing to the team and confidence is coming back," Henjak said.

"All of a sudden players are wanting to get out of the injured brigade and get back into the team - we are in a good position at the moment."

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