Jamie Hodgson keen to get back on pitch with Edinburgh after frustration at lack of Scotland game time

Edinburgh lock Jamie Hodgson believes that the absence of some key players from the team to take on Benetton on Saturday should not be a concern – because the squad’s strength is now so good.

Jamie Hodgson during an Edinburgh training session at the DAM Health Stadium this week. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Jamie Hodgson during an Edinburgh training session at the DAM Health Stadium this week. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Head coach Mike Blair said earlier this week that he would have to rest some of his leading internationals either for the game in Treviso or for next week’s match at home to Munster. And, after being heavily involved in Scotland’s Autumn Nations Series campaign, important figures such as Jamie Ritchie, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe are among those who may sit out the trip to Italy.

However, Edinburgh were without 14 Scotland players for their last match, away to Cardiff, and they emerged victorious from that game. That has left Hodgson convinced that, whoever is omitted, the team can keep up the good form without such players.

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“I genuinely don't think it is a concern for us,” he said. “We have so much strength in depth now. There are so many good young boys coming through who want to step up.

“You look at Paddy Harrison, who came off the bench against Cardiff. He is putting his name out there.

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“We have so much strength in depth that every week selection is a problem because everyone wants to be playing rugby. When they get a chance to do that they've got to take it.

“Everyone who stepped up has done a brilliant job. We've gone three from three now and we want to make that four from four. It is still the same plan and everyone is putting their hand up for selection.”

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Hodgson has had a fairly demanding training schedule over the past month as part of the wider Scotland squad, but after not being selected for any of the four matches he is keen to return to action. “Training in camp was great, but not getting game time was frustrating,” he added.

“I just want to come back and get rolling with Edinburgh again. We have a run of games now that are going to be so important for us – Italian Shield, the league and then Europe coming up. Personally, I'm not too fussed about getting a bit of time off.”

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