NRL

Hodgson to stand-in as Raiders NRL captain

Hodgson to stand-in as Raiders NRL captain
Josh Hodgson has been named stand-in captain for the NRL Raiders as Jarrod Croker is out with a knee injury.

When Josh Hodgson made the decision to leave England for the Australian capital, he never considered he would be leading the side onto the field.

Now after two years with the Raiders, the 27-year-old has been named stand-in captain with regular skipper Jarrod Croker not expected to play until at least round five after dislocating his kneecap during the NRL All Stars match.

Despite being a co-captain at his former club Hull, Hodgson never stopped to consider taking the job at Canberra.

'I didn't think that much into it,' Hodgson said.

'I just wanted to come here and be settled and really find a home here.

'Once you find a home and you're happy in your life outside of footy you tend to be playing your best as well.'

Happiness translated into scintillating form in 2016, with Hodgson emerging as one of the game's best players and sharing the Meninga Medal (Canberra's best and fairest) with Josh Papalii.

'Last year was a good year for me but that's been and gone,' Hodgson said.

'I want to improve as a player and especially as a leader on the field to help us do the best we can do.'

While captaining the side didn't enter his mind, he knew his leadership skills would be called upon when he made the switch to the NRL.

'I think that's something the club needed at that time,' Hodgson said.

'There was me and Sia (Soliola) and Austo (Blake Austin) coming in.

'It was very important they had a few strong characters in the group in terms of doing the right things off the field as well.'

Coach Ricky Stuart said Hodgson was a fierce competitor whose rapid rise had been a welcome surprise.

'For us to make him captain of the club while Jarrod's out is a great honour for him,' Stuart said.

AAP