Hodge happy to fill gaps for Wallabies

Reece Hodge is content with life as Australia’s Mr Fix-It and says he is ready to take on the team’s chief playmaking responsibilities should injury strike.

Hodge has played on the left wing for the Wallabies since Dane Haylett-Petty’s season-ending biceps surgery despite usually playing in the centres for the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby.

But with Quade Cooper snubbed for the Rugby Championship, the 23-year-old is also serving as back-up for a number of different positions.

Bernard Foley is the only out-and-out five-eighth in the squad, Kurtley Beale the only experienced inside centre option and Israel Folau the only true fullback.

Hodge is ready, willing and able to step into the breach if any of those big names were to cop an injury.

“I am used covering everything now so I am prepared to play anywhere from 10 to 15, if there is a worse case scenario,” Hodge said.

“It’s our job during the week to prepare as best as we can so if we’re thrust into that position on the weekend then we’re ready.

“Obviously without Quade in the squad I have had to spend a bit more time (at five-eighth) at training and I think it’s been good to get my head around a few different positions.

“The transfer of skills between 10, 12, 13 and wing is quite good. It can only be beneficial going forward.”

Hodge said he wasn’t fussed about being used as a utility and not necessarily keen on making the No.11 jersey his own.

“The more positions you play the more chances you have of being in the team, I guess,” he said.

“It’s just about performing week to week, wherever I am.

“I just love being out for the start of the game rather than coming off the bench.”

One of the team’s most powerful boots, Hodge said he was prepared to shoot from distance if chief goalkicker Foley hands him the tee during Sunday’s (AEST) Rugby Championship clash against South Africa.

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