Ex-Canberra skipper Hodgson retires from NRL

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Josh Hodgson has confirmed his rugby league career is over after a recurring neck injury caused him to call time on a swansong with Parramatta.

The 33-year-old said on Wednesday he had been medically retired from the game knowing he gave everything physically and mentally possible.

The 19-cap England international suffered two ACL tears during his time in Australia and required a further reconstruction on his right knee last year.

"It's probably a blessing because I've always tried pushing through when my body was broken and putting my teammates before everything, but it has come at a cost," Hodgson said.

Hodgson's career will be remembered for the galvanising effect he had on Canberra after moving to the Australian capital in 2015 from Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers.

The hooker first came to the attention of NRL fans soon after he signed with the Raiders when, on a tour with England, he was filmed running head first through a students flat door in New Zealand.

It was to be a metaphor for his time in Australia as helped turn Canberra's fortunes around after years of struggle, leading the team to a preliminary final in 2016 and then captaining them in their 2019 grand final loss.

Hodgson was one of the few English spine players to successfully adapt to the NRL and, in 2020, Peter Sterling claimed that the Yorkshireman had gone close to eclipsing Cameron Smith as the game's premier hooker.

Unfortunately for Hodgson his remaining time at the Raiders was plagued by injury, and despite finding a home at Parramatta in 2023 he was unable to rekindle that same level of magic.