You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Force favourite Matt Hodgson retires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/06/2017

Matt Hodgson of the Force addresses the media after being defeated during a round 15 Super Rugby match. © Paul Kane/Getty Images Matt Hodgson of the Force addresses the media after being defeated during a round 15 Super Rugby match. Western Force veteran Matt Hodgson has announced his retirement after 12 years at the Perth-based Super Rugby franchise, saying it's the right time to bow out.

The 35-year-old will hang up his boots at the end of the season, and he's confident he can overcome a calf injury in time to play at least one more game.

Hodgson was an inaugural member of the Force, and is widely viewed as the heart and soul of the team.

"It was actually pretty tough decision. I was thinking about it most of the year," Hodgson said.

"It's a good opportunity to go out on my own terms."

The former Wallabies flanker said although his playing career was coming to an end, his biggest battle lies ahead - ensuring the survival of the Force.

The ARU wants to axe either the Force or Melbourne Rebels ahead of next season.

Hodgson wants the ARU to retain all five Australian franchises and believes there's still scope to convince Australian rugby's governing body to spare the axe.

The ex-Force skipper said the external uncertainty had taken away some of his love of the game, and played a role in his decision to retire

"It's probably been the toughest year in rugby I've dealt with," Hodgson said.

"A lot of the off-field stuff has overshadowed what we're doing on the field, so it's been disappointing.

"If we didn't have such a strong group here, I think things would have splintered.

"So it's been a big effort from the boys."

Hodgson will step into a yet-to-be-determined coaching role next season.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon