Hodgson: No panic with Nick in charge at Exiles
“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.”