Dodds badly broke his leg in two places in Warrington’s 30-20 victory against the Dragons in March and had to stay behind for surgery while his teammates returned to England.
Accompanied by the club’s head of performance services Ben Stirling, the pair drove from Perpignan to Barcelona to catch their flight the following day.
But Dodds was lucky to avoid serious harm again when they were pulled over by some shady characters posing as local police.
“So when we were driving back, it was around 5.30pm, we didn’t really know where we were going,” the Australian prop explained.
“So we stopped at a service station to get some directions but they didn’t speak any English. We seem to be going through this industrial estate and we didn’t know if these people had followed us from the servo and they’ve know we’re foreigners, but this car, it looked like a Nissan Pulsar.
“It was a pretty bashed up car. They came up flying next to us and were flashing their lights and beeping the horn, and the guy in the passenger sheet was showing a badge or something. Trying to coast us off the road.
“So we pulled up a bit and this fella said ‘passports, passports. Where you from?’. We said England. There was one bloke outside the car and four inside it. It was just a bit suss.
“He didn’t see me at first as I was in the backseat and then he did and said ‘where you from?’. And I said ‘Australia’. He asked where our passports were and Ben said they were back with our hotel and they’re expecting us there just down the road.
“The window was down just a crack and he put his arm through and tried to go through Ben’s pockets and he was saying “Cocaine, cocaine”. After that Ben grabbed his arm and said “Woah, woah”, he kind of pulled him up a bit.
“And then they must have got spooked a bit and they just got in their car and bailed.”
Dodds admits he and Stirling were very fortunate.
“We were just sitting their for five minutes saying “what the f#$k just happened?” he reflected.
“I don’t know what they would have done, steal our passports or steal them and try and bribe us to get them back. They were posing as cops. I don’t know how things work over there, they could have been undercover [cops] but when you think about it, they were sketchy as.
“We were thinking ‘did we just get away with our lives there or what?’. In the hindsight of things my leg doesn’t feel that bad now! So that was a bit different. It was a bit of a life experience.”
The amiable Aussie is expected to be out for the next four to five months as he recovers from the serious injury. Dodds’ operation went well and his targeting a potential return to the field for Warrington in July.
“With the break as it is, a straight break, as long as I don’t have any other injuries or slips with it I should be able to get that target,” he said.
“We just have to play it by ear at the moment.”
The Wolves are top of Super League and Dodds is eager to get back, after managing just two games for the Wire this season.
“Get me back on the field,” the former Brisbane Broncos front-rower said.
“I came here to play rugby and it’s not happening.”