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1872 Cup: Hard worker Jamie Hodgson looks to snatch his chance for Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Jamie Hodgson has proved himself a pro player this season.
Edinburgh's Jamie Hodgson has proved himself a pro player this season.

Jamie Hodgson might be proof that there is still a pathway for Scots players – even late developers from the club game – through to the professional game.

The Edinburgh lock on a partnership contract with the Watsonians Super6 side has filled the gap left due to the serious injury to Grant Gilchrist this season. But originally he was little more than a human tackle-bag for pre-season training.

“I was in Stage 2 Academy a couple of years ago and I went into a training camp with Edinburgh,” he recalls. “It was a St Andrews camp and I got a call from (club manager) Graeme Beveridge saying `can you go in, they’re short of a second row and they need an extra body to train’.

‘Trained my socks off’

“I trained my socks off for a few weeks and they kept me around, so halfway through that season (Richard Cockerill) told me I was staying.”

Hodgson’s propensity for hard work didn’t go unnoticed by the head coach.

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill.

“He’s one of the unsung heroes, really,” said Cockerill. “He came through the academy, a bit under the radar.

“He probably wasn’t regarded as one of the rock star players but he has worked hard at his conditioning, quietly gone about his business, improving with every opportunity he gets.

“Jamie’s still got to work on his athleticism and his engine. He’s a bit of later developer which isn’t a slight on him, it’s just that some guys develop later than others.”

Hard worker in the engine room

Hodgson is happy to be on the road crew rather than being the rock star.

“I’m a hard worker and that shows a lot in my game,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of players who’ve had some success in doing that, particularly in the engine room at 4 and 5. It’s an underrated job but something I like doing.”

“When I first got a crack due to injuries I was probably the last one standing and I was just trying to fill a jersey and do a job.

“With the run of games I’ve had now there’s a lot more confidence. I want to make my mark on the pitch now rather than just fill a position on the team sheet.

“The Sale game was a big step up and a big challenge to play one of the top teams in the Premiership with a lot of physical guys, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

‘Exciting to play your rivals’

Playing in the 1872 Cup against some of his friends on the Glasgow team will be a but thrill, he adds.

“It’s always exciting to play your rivals and guys you’ve grown up with,” he said. “The level of detail you go into, the setpiece especially, that goes up because you all know each other so well.

“Everyone coming up in Scotland knows everyone else. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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