Hodges eyes fond Origin farewell

The way Justin Hodges sees it, Queensland coach Mal Meninga won’t try to talk the veteran centre out of retiring from representative duty at season’s end.

“No, I think he will look forward to getting rid of me,” Maroons serial niggler Hodges laughed ahead of May 27’s Origin opener in Sydney.

Still, Hodges hopes to help Queensland have the final say in his representative swansong in 2015.

Then there’s the small matter of whether the Broncos veteran hangs around in the NRL at all next year with the English Super League calling.

Hodges – 33 later this month – won’t play another Test after missing out on Australia’s recent 26-12 loss in Brisbane to the Kiwis.

Yet he still plans plenty of fond Origin memories in 2015.

Hodges is set to run out in his 22nd Origin for May 27’s interstate series opener in Sydney.

And it seems nothing will change his mind after admitting he would walk away from rep footy at season’s end.

“It was a decision I didn’t take lightly,” Hodges said.

“I have had a great run, had some wonderful moments.

“I think it is time I do. We have some wonderful talent coming through like Will Chambers and Dane Gagai.

“I think I am doing the right thing by them.”

Hodges said he did not feel like he had anything left to prove despite being overlooked for Australia’s trans-Tasman loss to the Kiwis.

“The Test selectors made their mind up. I have done everything in the game and I am proud of that,” he said.

Hodges still has a year left on his NRL contract but he has been told by Broncos coach Wayne Bennett that he can’t ensure his veteran’s future from 2016.

“He said it is up to me. It’s great to have someone like Wayne to lean on,” Hodges said of Bennett.

And Hodges also kept the door open to a UK move ajar.

“It’s a big move but it is something I will look into,” he said.

“I still like playing footy but it’s whether my body still lets me.

“I always thought of going over there (UK) one day, but it will depend on how I feel after this series.”

Meanwhile, Maroons playmaker Johnathan Thurston dipped his hat to Hodges as the wiley veteran looked to take his final Origin vows.

“Giving Hodgo a fitting Origin farewell is in the back of the mind but he is all team first so he wouldn’t want that kind of hoopla surrounding the camp,” he said of May 27’s series opener in Sydney.

“He’s been a big part of this team over a number of years and when fit he is the first picked – he will go down as one of Queensland’s greats.”

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