Hodgson claims Exiles’ schedule is tough

Exiles captain Brett Hodgson says this week’s second International Origin game will be tough on both sets of players.

The second England v Exiles match this season takes place on Wednesday, days after the players have turned out for their clubs in the Super League. Players will then be expected to play for their respective clubs days after the mid-week game as well, with the possibility for some of playing three games in the space of seven days.

But Hodgson says it will be a challenging schedule for everyone.

He said: “Preparation will be pretty minimal for this game when we will only have one or two days to sort the team out and get a bit of training done, but I’m sure Daniel (Anderson) would have prepared for that.

“We will have done all the work for the second game before the first one. I can’t imagine the squad will change too much barring injuries. England will have the same issues to deal with, but it will be a bit of a challenge.”

Hodgson is aware as the season progresses to the business end, players’ commitment to their clubs increases. With an additional representative match this season, the pressure is on the players to perform once they get back to their clubs.

But despite being a supporter of the Exiles concept, Hodgson is struggling to come to a solution that will ease his colleagues’ workload.

He said: “At this time of the year club competition is a huge priority, and every individual will want to play well for their club and these games are the icing on the cake, so to speak. 

“This match is one of those where it’s probably never a great time to schedule during the year. I don’t know if they could have done it differently, but this is what they have done, and we have to go along with it.”

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