Jamie Hodgson targets Six Nations place after signing new Edinburgh deal alongside Marshall Sykes

Edinburgh lock Jamie Hodgson believes he can challenge for a place in Scotland’s Six Nations Championship squad after making his first appearances for his country in the Autumn Nations Series.

Edinburgh duo Jamie Hodgson (left) and Marshall Sykes have signed new deals after representing Scotland in the Autumn Series. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The 23-year-old and his second-row colleague Marshall Sykes, who have both signed new contracts with Edinburgh, made their Scotland debuts in the Autumn Nations Series against Tonga. Hodgson, who is two years older then Sykes, then held on to his place in Gregor Townsend’s squad for the subsequent matches against Australia and South Africa.

He knows that competition will be tougher come the Six Nations because of the probable return of more experienced internationals such as Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings, but Hodgson insisted yesterday that he would back himself to thrive if given a chance. “I featured quite a bit in the autumn, and although I don't want to get ahead of myself I’m taking great confidence in the direction I’m going,” he said.

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“My mindset is; Why not? Why can't I be in the mix for the Six Nations and get a spot there? Playing in the Six Nations would be a dream come true.”

Sykes, who came off the bench in Edinburgh’s win over Saracens last week, reckons he and Hodgson work well together on the pitch because of their different skills. He said: “Jamie is a better lineout jumper than I probably am. The contact area is what I really focus on.

“We’ve played maybe 13 matches - and ten of them together in a row. It’s pretty special to sign with him on the same day.”

Edinburgh did not reveal the length of the new deals signed by the pair, but head coach Mike Blair made it clear he wanted them to be part of the team’s long-term plan. “Jamie and Marshall have both been excellent for us so far this season and thoroughly deserved their Scotland debuts in the autumn,” he said. “We’re delighted to see two more young Scottish academy graduates commit their future to the club and we hope that they’ll be part of Edinburgh Rugby for the foreseeable future.”

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