David Hodgson to join Hull KR coaching staff

Experienced winger David Hodgson will join the coaching staff at Hull Kingston Rovers next season, after calling time on his 15-year playing career.

The former Great Britain flyer scored 184 tries in 366 appearances for five Super League clubs but has decided to retire after suffering a neck injury in July.

He will now link up with the backroom staff as an assistant coach on a two-year contract and he told www.hullkr.co.uk he’s excited by his new challenge at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

“It’s a big change from what I’m used to but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a new start for the club and a lot of new lads are coming in, so it’s an exciting time to be joining the coaching staff,” said the 2006 Super League Dream Team member.

“It’s always hard to retire but it was made easier for me by the number of injuries I’ve had this year. I damaged my neck towards the back end of the season and I felt my body was telling me to call it a day.

“To be offered an assistant coaching role was a bit of a surprise but I’m keen to get stuck in. It will be a relatively young coaching team next season but that seems to be the way a lot of clubs are going at the moment and hopefully we can bring some fresh ideas.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have had a good career and this is my chance to give something back now. The outside backs we have signed for next season look quality players and I can’t wait to work with them to be honest. Hopefully they’ll fit straight in and we can have a good start to the season.”

Born in Hull, Hodgson joined the Robins in 2012 and has made 53 appearances for the club, scoring 32 tries, with the highlight arguably his last-minute touch down to defeat Hull FC at the Magic Weekend two years ago.

An ex-Great Britain international, he also represented England and Yorkshire and previously played for Halifax, Wigan, Salford and Huddersfield during an illustrious career, featuring in two Super League Grand Finals with the Warriors.

Hodgson will also work with the club’s academy side alongside his position with the first team and head coach Chris Chester says the 33-year-old will bring a wealth of experience to the role.

He added: “Although it is never easy to make the decision to retire, I’m really pleased Dave will be staying at the club in 2015 as part of the coaching staff.

“It is really important for the club moving forwards that we hold onto players of his calibre and tap into their knowledge and experience. He has played at the highest level for a long period of time and has been a real professional both on and off the field.

“He will have a big part to play in what we want to do next year, particularly with the younger players. We will have a number of young, exciting outside backs in our squad next season and Dave will be working closely with them.”

Meanwhile, the Robins have also handed new deals to three members of the backroom staff for next season as Chester continues to prepare for 2015.

It has seen the club’s head of strength and conditioning Paul Hatton and strength and conditioning coach Billy Mallinson awarded two-year contracts, whilst assistant physio Roslyn Craig will stay on for at least another 12 months.

They will join the likes of Hodgson, fellow assistant coach Willie Poching, head physio Rob Parkinson and video analyst Mark Houlton in making up Chester’s coaching staff for next season, although rehabilitation manager Brice Johnson has left the club to return to Australia.