Josh Hodson on why he signed for Castleford Tigers over Super League rivals, the difference between part-time and full-time and the job he left behind

AGED just 23, new Castleford Tigers signing Josh Hodson seems to have been up and the country already.

Born in Newport, Shropshire, Hodson began his rugby league career with London Broncos after a spell in union with Newport RUFC and a trial at Midlands Hurricanes.

Debuting in 2020, the centre went on to make 19 appearances for the capital club before signing for Batley Bulldogs ahead of the 2022 Championship season.

Over 50 performances later and Hodson will now be plying his trade in Super League in 2024 after signing for Castleford.

The transition from part-time with Batley to full-time with the Tigers is one that the 23-year-old is now in the midst of grasping – as well as the fact that he had to leave behind a job he loved.

“The time and the volume, part-time was only there times, now it’s four days on the field and a Saturday morning session. It’s about managing the body and getting myself right,” Hodson told BBC Radio Leeds.

“I won’t miss dark evening sessions. It’s brand new to me, most of the time I’m going home and sleeping I’m that tired!”

“I worked for Batley Community, I started doing coaching with schools and Batley. I think it was an easy decision career move, but I really enjoyed that job so it is a real shame I had to leave.”

So why did Hodson join Castleford despite having other Super League clubs interested in him? Well it was the former assistant coach of the Tigers – and now the head coach – Craig Lingard, that sold him the dream.

“I spoke to Lingard, I love working with him, he was the main man that sold it to me. He was very open and honest with me which helped and that helped the transition.

“It’s a good group of lads, they have made me feel really welcome and that’s made it easier to transition. I knew Luke Hooley and Samy Kibula as we played together at Batley last year.

“It makes it easier so I’m not just a newbie on the block, we can help each other out but the lads have made it a really nice welcoming environment.”

Hodson’s aims are clear: learn, improve and potentially make his Super League debut.

“This is brand new to me, I just want to play and cement a spot in the squad. Hopefully I can make my Super League debut.

“There will be work to do myself to get there but I am hoping to learn off everyone around which will help me progress further.”

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