Hodgson: No panic with Nick in charge at Ex­iles

The Rugby Paper - - News -

“I imag­ine that’s quite a hard thing for Owen to deal with be­cause ob­vi­ously Ge­orge is go­ing to be in con­trol but Owen will want some sig­nif­i­cant in­put as well.

“It’s a true sign of Owen’s char­ac­ter as a per­son and player that he’s able to do that for the team, but whether it’s best for him long-term I’m not too sure.”

Hodgson, mean­while, is back­ing London Ir­ish rugby di­rec­tor Nick Kennedy to steer the Ex­iles away from relegation trou­ble af­ter a sticky start to the sea­son.

Now Ir­ish’s kick­ing coach af­ter re­lin­quish­ing his role as head of re­cruit­ment at Sara­cens, Hodgson said: “There’s no panic, the coaches un­der­stand how hard it is and the great thing about Nick is he stays true to what we set out at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son.

“It’s been quite a steep learn­ing curve for all the play­ers and coaches be­cause in the Premier­ship you get pun­ished for mis­takes that you may have got away with in the Cham­pi­onship, but we’ve been fin­ish­ing games re­ally strongly and that’s a great sign.

“There’s a lot of qual­ity in the squad so there’s no rea­son why, ul­ti­mately, we can’t do well.”

One man Hodgson ex­pects to shine is 20-yearold play­maker Theo Bro­phy Clews, who is back from the leg in­jury he suf­fered dur­ing Eng­land’s Ju­nior World Cup cam­paign in June.

Hodgson said: “Theo’s a young Eng­land prospect and from what I’ve seen so far he’s very ea­ger to learn, very switched on and ex­tremely knowl­edge­able.

“Go­ing for­wards he’ll have a big lead­er­ship role with Ir­ish be­cause he’s a stu­dent of the game who wants to un­der­stand why you do stuff and he’s good. It will be great to see him get­ting some game time now and keep his de­vel­op­ment go­ing.”

On his rea­sons for quit­ting Sara­cens, Hodgson added: “I loved Sara­cens but found the re­cruit­ment job wasn’t for me and I wanted my week­ends back. I en­joy the kick­ing coach­ing, one-to-one work and pass­ing on the knowl­edge I’ve gained.”

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