England international and NRL star reportedly forced into early retirement

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 told team-mates his career has come to an end due to a serious injury, reports claim. 

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Hodgson will be forced to hang up the boots following a season-ending neck injury suffered in Round 13.

The 33-year-old joined the Eels ahead of the current campaign following eight seasons with Canberra Raiders, making 138 appearances and scoring 14 tries.

The injury blow forced Hodgson to undergo surgery and still remains a problem, according to the Australian reports.

It further stated that the veteran may yet require further surgery, and returning to the field may be a risk to his health and future.

Hodgson joined Parramatta Eels on a two-year contract, although the second season was a mutual option.

He has been one of the finest English players to feature in the competition Down Under since his move from Hull KR back in 2015, having made 134 appearance for The Robins, and two for rivals Hull FC in 2009.

The England international missed last year’s delayed World Cup on home soil under Shaun Wane due to an ACL injury, ending his Canberra Raiders career early.

Joey Lussick arrives following Josh Hodgson blow

The injury blow to Hodgson saw the club enter the market for a replacement hooker, finding their man in St Helens interchange hooker Joey Lussick.

Lussick’s exit from the Super League champions was confirmed on Saturday afternoon following St Helens’ defeat to Leigh Leopards in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Eels are yet to confirm the deal, although he is expected to land in Australia on Monday night and immediately link up with Brad Arthur’s side.

The Sydney Morning Herald have reported that Parramatta paid a transfer fee of $50,000 (roughly £26,000) for the Australian hooker.

Meanwhile, St Helens have confirmed their immediate replacement in St George Illawarra Dragons utility Moses Mbye, with the transfer confirmed on Sunday by the four-peat champions.

The former State of Origin representative joins the Totally Wicked Stadium outfit on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

On the departure of Lussick and the arrival of Mbye, Saints coach Paul Wellens said: “We at St Helens are not in the business of allowing players to leave mid-contract, but when Joey’s situation became sensitive with him requesting his release and wanting to return home, we needed to handle it with care.

“But we as a club were strong with our stance that we would only ever allow Joey to leave if we could bring in someone who could add to the squad, and in Moses Mbye that is exactly what we’ve got.”

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