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James Graham: "Trent Hodkinson for England"

england four nations

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#1 londonrlfan

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 07:09 PM

Canterbury forward James Graham would be ecstatic if halfback Trent Hodkinson received a representative jumper as a reward for his explosive start to the season – but he'd want it to be England's battle colours rather than the sky blue of NSW.

Hodkinson has earned the reputation as the iceman of the NRL after sealing victories in the Bulldogs' past two games with last-gasp field goals. However, his teammates, Graham especially, were adamant he possessed an all-round game worthy of the representative arena.

''Everyone seems to focus a lot on his kicking,'' Graham said on Wednesday. ''He is kicking very well with his place kicking, his conversions and a few dropped goals but I think defensively and in attack with the ball he's playing well, too.''

After being asked whether Hodkinson was poised to add to the City Origin jumper he earned while at Manly in 2010, Graham said he had lobbied hard for Hodkinson to play for England in last year's World Cup.

''His dad is English and he has actually spoke quite passionately about seeing Trent play [for England] and I know that it's been in the back of Trent's mind,'' Graham said. ''I'd love to see him line up next to me in an English [jumper].

''[England's] coach Steve [McNamara] did ask me about him. I think Steve gets quite a few reminders that people can qualify for England and I said, 'Look, this guy is genuine, he definitely wants to play, he's not someone wanting just to play in the World Cup.'

"For whatever reason Steve didn't go that way but hopefully, if Trent can produce form and still has that passion, that desire, to play for England, maybe one day it might come true.''

Besides being an ardent supporter of the Bulldogs' No.7 Graham prided himself on being a good mate who offered support when Hodkinson battled with self doubt after a series of injuries, including a chronic knee problem that required stem-cell surgery.

''To go through one rehab [only] to do something totally different and then go through that to something else, it's never nice to see,'' Graham said of Hodkinson's horror run which denied him a playing role in the 2012 grand final.

''I know from speaking to him that he was questioning himself a little bit. I guess he was wondering whether there was light at the end of the tunnel.

''You try and tell him there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it's hard, to be honest, because you don't know necessarily if there is. I've seen a few blokes go through it and they don't come out the other end ... you have to support them and be someone [they can] talk to in their time of need. 

''[Hodkinson] was struggling. He's such a credit to himself and his family for coming out the other end. I can't harp  on the point enough about how he keeps trying to improve. He's not resting on his laurels – he wants to improve and go to another level.''


Read more: http://www.smh.com.a...l#ixzz2zjnEI1Qr

 

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Have to say I disagree. England should not be picking heritage players in the team imo, it just papers over cracks with regards to our development. Arguably the best half in the NRL at the moment is English, Gareth Widdop, then we have up and coming talents like Sneyd, Hampshire Sutcliffe and Powell looking to break through. I don't think we should pick players who will just jump ship to Origin the first chance they get. I know some people will say 'Union and Cricket do it, so why shouldn't we?' well that would be like accepting that our development is so bad we have to rely on heritage players and is not good for the long term development of the England side. I can't say the last two NRL heritage players we picked were a massive improvement to the team. This is also what I worry about with MacNamara being based in Oz, he will be sounding out as many heritage players as possible. 



#2 RSN

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:40 PM

No thankyou.

Widdop is a better player and we have 3 years to develop either Sneyd, Hampshire, Sutcliffe, Williams or whoever it may be into having a settled English partnership.

#3 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 10:24 PM

If he's the best available, I don't see why not. Having two top NRL halfbacks in the side would give us a great chance against the Aussies and Kiwis.
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#4 bazza_merged

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:16 PM

should pick him so he can't play for Australia



#5 nec

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:19 PM

If Jammer thinks he's good enough and English enough that'll do for me
Rugby League is a sport that desperately needs to expand its geographical supporter base and its player base. This imperative means that all other requirements are secondary until this is done.

All power in the game should be with governing bodies, especially international governing bodies.

Without these actions we will remain a minor sport internationally and nationally.

#6 CGD

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:41 AM

Widdop arguably the top half in the NRL? Wow. There's a reason the Pom watch thread went to sleep. It's because Widdop and Tomkins are not in great form.

Hodkinson is definitely in better form than Widdop, I've been very impressed with him, he has surprised me. Widdop is about middle of the road at the moment.

Graham comes across as a staunch Englishman. He would not cheapean the privilege to represent England. If he is happy about the possibility, I don't know why fans would be precious about it.

#7 RidingPie

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

Widdop arguably the top half in the NRL? Wow. There's a reason the Pom watch thread went to sleep. It's because Widdop and Tomkins are not in great form.
 

 

I thought it was the other way round. More specifically that Tomkins was starting to show form. His last two performances seem to have won over the NZ fans anyway.



#8 thirteenthman

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:29 AM

One good reason why he shouldn't play for England - he's Australian. 

 

Nothing against the lad - he's a decent player who is going through a good run of form, but I'd like to think we could find a bona fide Englishman who could fill the position. 



#9 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:17 AM

One good reason why he shouldn't play for England - he's Australian.

Nothing against the lad - he's a decent player who is going through a good run of form, but I'd like to think we could find a bona fide Englishman who could fill the position.

He's half English, surely?
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#10 Saintslass

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

One good reason why he shouldn't play for England - he's Australian. 

 

 

That would depend I guess on how you defined nationality.  His Dad is English and so if you go by lineage then he's half English.  However, if you go by where he is born then, assuming he was born in Australia (and I don't know whether he was), he would be Australian.



#11 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:37 AM

That would depend I guess on how you defined nationality. His Dad is English and so if you go by lineage then he's half English. However, if you go by where he is born then, assuming he was born in Australia (and I don't know whether he was), he would be Australian.

Wikipedia says he was born in Aus.
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#12 faz'_nose

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:20 AM

Assuming that his father is English (and meets criteria that many English persons can), Hodkinson will be able to claim British citizenship 'by descent'. So, legally speaking, he'll be British.

I'm happy for somebody to prove that I'm incorrect.

Edit: As far as we know, Hodkinson might already possess a British passport.

Edited by faz'_nose, 24 April 2014 - 10:25 AM.


#13 londonrlfan

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:16 AM

Has he ever been to England before or shown that he was a 'proud Englishman' before? I had no idea he had an English father before I saw this article, so is it just another Aussie who isn't good enough and wants to play for England instead, like Heighnington. Imagine we won the Four Nations and the BBC cameras go to interview the MOTM, who is Trent Hodkinson, with an Australian accent. I don't think it would give a positive image to the game and tbh if we require Australians to beat the Aussies, it would make our victories hollow to me if anything. 



#14 Human Punk

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:17 AM

I'd be happy to have him if he's good enough. I don't see why we should want to deprive his old man of the chance to see his lad representing his country.

 

He's plainly half English. He's even got a half Australian, half English name.



#15 thirteenthman

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 11:18 AM

That would depend I guess on how you defined nationality.  His Dad is English and so if you go by lineage then he's half English.  However, if you go by where he is born then, assuming he was born in Australia (and I don't know whether he was), he would be Australian.

 

His dad might well be English, but he's Australian. He played for the City Origin team in 2010, which presumably means he'd like to play for NSW. And I bet if Tim Sheens asked him to play in next weeks Anzac Test, he would.

 

And according to this article, he's in the frame to play for City Origin again and is being mentioned for a place in the NSW team:-

 

http://www.foxsports...h-1226893162305



#16 Dave T

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

Has he ever been to England before or shown that he was a 'proud Englishman' before? I had no idea he had an English father before I saw this article, so is it just another Aussie who isn't good enough and wants to play for England instead, like Heighnington. Imagine we won the Four Nations and the BBC cameras go to interview the MOTM, who is Trent Hodkinson, with an Australian accent. I don't think it would give a positive image to the game and tbh if we require Australians to beat the Aussies, it would make our victories hollow to me if anything. 

The image to the game from outsiders would be absolutely fine, just as it is when it happens in other sports.

 

The issue would be from RL fans.

 

Most people accept that this happens nowadays.


Edited by Dave T, 24 April 2014 - 12:04 PM.


#17 Saintslass

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:15 PM

His dad might well be English, but he's Australian. He played for the City Origin team in 2010, which presumably means he'd like to play for NSW. And I bet if Tim Sheens asked him to play in next weeks Anzac Test, he would.

 

And according to this article, he's in the frame to play for City Origin again and is being mentioned for a place in the NSW team:-

 

http://www.foxsports...h-1226893162305

However, because his father is English he is entitled to apply for dual nationality so legally speaking he could be either or both, regardless of where he was born.


Edited by Saintslass, 24 April 2014 - 04:16 PM.


#18 Viking Warrior

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:32 PM

why not just abandon developing our own players and pick bloody aussies every time, this type of thing really makes my blood boil we have a superb crop of young 100% english halves and now people want another bloody aussie in the national team is he really any better than what we have like joe mellor, gaz o'brien ryan hampshire etc etc etc


Edited by Viking Warrior, 24 April 2014 - 05:33 PM.

"Why is Napoleon crying ?" said one sailor to the other, "poor ###### thinks he's being exiled to st helens" came the reply.



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#19 Saintslass

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:51 PM

is he really any better than what we have like joe mellor, gaz o'brien ryan hampshire etc etc etc

Yes.  Certainly at the moment he most definitely is!



#20 londonrlfan

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 10:05 PM

I think England should play Tomkins in the halves rather than FB. Hopefully NZ Warriors move him there sooner rather than later and we see the best of him. Remember when he first broke through he was a stand off, before being moved to accommodate some Aussie signing the following season. 







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