England international and NRL star Josh Hodgson forced into medical retirement, aged 33

Josh McAllister
Josh Hodgson in action for Parramatta Eels against North Queensland Cowboys. Photo by Australian Associated Press/Alamy Live News.

Josh Hodgson in action for Parramatta Eels against North Queensland Cowboys. Photo by Australian Associated Press/Alamy Live News.

England international and Parramatta Eels hooker Josh Hodgson has announced that he has been forced to medically retire, aged 33.

The Hull-born player will hang up the boots after an illustrious 15-year career on both sides of the globe.

Hodgson made his debut with Hull FC back in 2009 before going on to join rivals Hull KR, enjoying 134 appearances across a five-year stint.

He made the move to the NRL ahead of the 2015 campaign and later co-captained Canberra Raiders to their first Grand Final in 25 years in 2019, featuring alongside international team-mates John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead in the 14-8 defeat to Sydney Roosters.

After eight years in the capital, scoring 14 tries in 138 appearances, Hodgson made the move to Parramatta Eels for seasons 2023 and 2024 but has been limited to just 12 appearances due to injury.

He hasn’t featured since Round 13 after suffering a neck injury, forcing the hooker to call time on his career.

Having won 19 caps for England, Hodgson admitted representing his country was his proudest achievement in the game via a post on social media.

The former England Knights captain made his senior debut at the 2014 Four Nations against Samoa. He was a part of the side that reached the 2017 World Cup final Down Under, but did not feature against Australia due to injury.

He also represented Great Britain during their tour in 2019 under Wayne Bennett.

Josh Hodgson announces retirement via social media

Hodgson shared on Instagram: “This is never the way I thought I’d be announcing the end of my footy career, but unfortunately I have been forced to medically retire.

“In hindsight it’s probably a blessing because I have always tried pushing through when my body was broken and putting my team-mates before everything, but it’s come at a cost.

“That’s professional rugby league I guess…we all know what we sign-up for. I have a lot to be grateful for though, which I what I have been trying to focus on.

“l’d like to thank every club I’ve represented in England and Australia and all the people I’ve worked with over the course of my career…staff behind the scenes, performance specialists, administrators, coaches and most importantly my teammates.

“I also want to thank the rugby league members and fans who we love playing in front of, through all the ups and downs.

“I am retiring knowing I gave everything physically and mentally to the game, every day.

“The hard work brought me a lot of joy, changed our lives and ultimately provided an opportunity to represent England, which is my proudest achievement.

“Last but certainly not least, to my wife Kirby, my kids and extended family…the unconditional love and support you provided was the reason I was able to do it for as long as I did, and for that I’ll forever be appreciative.

“I will be staying in the game which has given me everything, but for now I am looking forward to spending time with family and close friends as we enter the next chapter in our lives together.”

READ NEXT: Canterbury Bulldogs centre exploring Super League opportunities – reports