Josh Hodgson has England place in his sights

Hull KR hooker Josh Hodgson has made winning a starting spot for England a priority.

The talented 24-year-old, who can also play in the back row, faces stiff competition for the number 9 slot in Steve McNamara’s starting 17.

But Hodgson is nothing if not determined, and wants to use the pride of his call-up to fire him on.

“It’s a huge honour for me to be here. You look around and there is some great talent here,” he told the Hull Daily Mail.

“To play for my country would be my proudest moment and that’s the goal. I’ve made the 34-man squad, but once you do that you change your target.

“It’s a very proud moment for me to have been called up, but I’m not one to just settle for that. If you’ve got any ambition about you, then you want to play for your country and making the final 24-man squad has to be my next target.

“If I can do that, I’ll want to be in the 17. It’s a good mentality to have to want to keep improving. This is my first call-up to the ETS squad and I’m proud to be here, but I want to keep progressing.”

Hodgson is one of four hookers in the England Training Squad, which gathered at Loughborough this week. As well as the experienced James Roby and the compeitive Michael McIlorum, the Castleford livewire Daryl Clark is also in the party.

“There are a lot of good hookers and there are ones that are not in the squad who could do a good job for England, so I know I have to be on my game if I am to have a chance of playing,” Hodgson explained.

“We’ve Roby, McIllorum and Clarke, and others not involved like Danny Houghton and Shaun Lunt, so it’s going to be tough to get in the squad.

“I know I’ll have to be at my best because it’s one of the strongest positions we have as a country, but that’s great for Steve and for the national team.”

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