FORMER Huddersfield Giants skipper Brett Hodgson has spoken of his pride to be captaining the Exiles for a second time against England in tomorrow’s International Origin match at his Warrington Wolves home ground the Halliwell Jones Stadium (8pm)
The 35-year-old, who has represented New South Wales in Australia’s State of Origin, missed the first match of last season’s International Origin double-header through injury, but recovered to help tie the series at his old Huddersfield stamping ground.
"It’s a huge honour to be selected for these type of games and I think this year it will go up another level in intensity because it’s a single fixture on a free weekend," said Hodgson, who lives in Slaithwaite.
"I’m really excited as we’ve got a great side filled with a fantastic bunch of lads and I believe the passion is there.
"It’s a great honour to be captain and I’m thankful to be given this opportunity.
"Unfortunately I was injured for the first game last season but it was a highlight to lead the boys out in the second test.
"I can imagine it’s going to be another similar experience this season because it’s a concept I’m relishing being part of."
Hodgson will lead out Brian McClennan’s side at home-club Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium and whilst admitting it will be special, he says he isn’t too bothered who the fans support.
"It makes it even better for me that we’ll be playing on our own turf as I know the place well," he said.
"It’s a testament to the coaching staff and everyone involved at Warrington to have players selected in both the England and Exiles camps.
"I think one or two have been unlucky to miss out, in particular Stef Ratchford who's been superb so far for us this season. I’m a little bit disappointed for him not being there but hopefully he’ll get some enjoyment out of watching us tackle each other!
"I hope Warrington fans turn up and enjoy the occasion regardless of who they support, because England need as much support as they can in the World Cup year.
"We’re not too bothered if all the cheers are for England. As long as it’s a big crowd, it’ll be great."