Reece Hodge Signs with the Rebels
The RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels have beaten off Australian Super Rugby rivals for the signature of 20 year old Manly Marlins centre Reece Hodge, who will move to Melbourne on a two year deal.
Photo courtesy Adam McDonald
Hodge, a former Australian Schoolboys and Australian U20s representative, has played for Manly through junior grades before making his Shute Shield debut last year and cementing a regular place for the 2015 minor premiers this season, already scoring over 150 points.
He has previously played alongside new Rebels teammate Jordy Reid for the Marlins, as well as playing with Ben Meehan and Jonah Placid for the Australian U20s.
Hodge said he was looking forward to linking back up with some familiar faces in Melbourne.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to move to Melbourne, and hopefully I’ll be able to repay that faith and continue to enjoy my footy at the same time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to what the next two years holds.”
“The opportunity to join the Rebels and hopefully play Super Rugby means a lot to me; the culture of the Club, and the direction the team is going, really impressed me. I’ve worked very hard for this opportunity, and certainly didn’t think it was going to happen this quickly.”
Hodge, who is capable of playing a number of different positions in the backline, is the Marlins’ first choice goal kicker; a recent video showing him slotting one from 75 metres has even gone viral!
“I’m confident in my goal kicking ability if I was called upon, but there’s already some strong goal kickers down there,” Hodge said. “Outside of that, I pride myself on my communication and I like to think I’ll fit into the team well; having some familiar faces will help me hopefully gel within the culture, and I’m really keen to head down to Melbourne.”
Rebels’ Head Coach Tony McGahan said it was pleasing that the young centre wanted to move to Melbourne.
“The Rebels are looking forward to Reece joining the Club,” McGahan said. “He will add to the midfield depth that we have already; his form in the Shute Shield has been excellent, and his improvement in a fulltime program will only enhance his goal of being a Super Rugby player at the Rebels.
“As somebody who has successfully come through the Australian Rugby elite pathway, Super Rugby is the next natural step for Reece, and we’re looking forward to helping him continue to push towards the realisation of that goal.”
Hodge’s signing comes hot on the heels of the announcements of experienced signings Jamie Hagan, James Hanson, Culum Retallick, Siliva Siliva and Adam Thomson for next season, and he will slot into a squad that already features a number of high quality young players beginning to make their mark at Super Rugby level.