Rugby League

NRL: Canberra Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson excited about future with young core

As far as contract extensions go, the one between Josh Hodgson and the Canberra Raiders was as painless as they get.

Hodgson wanted to stay, the Raiders agreed and the English international signed on the dotted line.

Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson is tipping a bright future for the club after re-signing for the next two years.
Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson is tipping a bright future for the club after re-signing for the next two years. Photo: Rohan Thomson

"It didn't take that long really," Hodgson said.

"I started talking to (the Raiders) midway through this month, it was pretty easy really.

"I let them know where I was at, how long I wanted to be here and it was an easy decision by the sounds of it from both parties."

Based on Hodgson's impressive debut season, it's easy to see why the Raiders were keen to lock the 26-year-old in on a two-year deal until the end of 2018.

Hodgson arrived in Canberra at the start of the 2015 campaign without much fanfare, but quickly proved himself to be among the leading dummy-halves in the NRL.

His ability to find gaps in the defensive line, put his forwards on the front foot and an astute kicking game gave the Raiders an option they haven't had since the retirement of former captain Simon Woolford.

Expectations will naturally be raised. Not only for Hodgson himself, but the Raiders as a whole.

They have the nucleus of an exciting young team for the next few years.

Hodgson, Blake Austin, Aiden Sezer and Jack Wighton are all signed until 2018, while forwards Shannon Boyd, Josh Papalii and Paul Vaughan have also committed their future to the club.

"It's good to get the spine all locked in together, that's a massive thing for any club," Hodgson said.

"When you look at the most successful teams, you look at Melbourne and teams like that, they've had a pretty settled spine for a fair few years, so I think it's important we've got that solid.

"It's only getting to help us as a squad and a club the more players can get used to each other."

Hodgson said he didn't consider returning to England at the end of his current two-year contract.

"That was never something I was really looking to do," he said.

"I'm settled here and I like it here. It's the best competition in the world to play in, so you want to be playing in it week in, week out.

"As long as I can be over here and testing my abilities and playing the best football that I can, I'll be trying to stay here as long as I can."

Hodgson will continue to work on his game and believes there are aspects that he can improve.

"I just want to add an extra 10 per cent in all areas," he said.

"I'm really hungry to try and accomplish a big achievement in my career and that's what drives me every day.

"We've got great potential in our squad and hopefully in the next few years we can have some good times.

"We've got some fantastic players and the age that we're at, these next couple of years, anything could definitely happen."