Sport

Hodges all set for one last hurrah in Origin

SWANSONG: Justin Hodges takes part in training for the Maroons yesterday.
SWANSONG: Justin Hodges takes part in training for the Maroons yesterday. DAVE HUNTAAP

NEW South Wales fans won't be sorry to see the end of him, which is probably the highest compliment Justin Hodges could get.

The Brisbane Broncos captain, who has hinted he may yet play a season or two in the UK, finally confirmed this year's State of Origin series against NSW would be his last - 13 years after one of the most forgettable debuts for Queensland.

Despite his two monumental clangers, Queensland still managed to win 26-18.

>> Origin Greats: Who are the best hookers?

"It's a decision I haven't made lightly, but I've had a wonderful run and some great moments. I think it's time I do (retire from representative football)," said Hodges, admitting he had not ruled out a stint in the English Super League if he could not strike a new deal with Brisbane.

"There is some great young talent coming through like Willy Chambers and Dane Gagai. I'm doing the right thing by them giving them an opportunity. I've had my fun. It's been wonderful and I'm just grateful I get to finish off with this bunch of blokes I started with."

Hodges is super competitive. Apart from his big sidestep and fend, part of his game is to niggle and get on the opposition's nerves, which he does very well.

Early in his career he had a major falling out with Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett in 2001, before heading off to Sydney to try and establish himself as a fullback with the Roosters.

The move paid off and the following season he was named to make his debut for Queensland aged 20.

It was supposed to be a special night.

But it quickly turned in to a nightmare as he threw two in-goal passes, both failing to find their target, which gifted the Blues two tries.

It was the worst possible start to his representative career. But like other champions, Laurie Daley and even Darren Lockyer, who'd experienced representative debut stinkers, he bounced back to silence his critics.

The 32-year-old has played 20 Origins since his debut game and is hoping to bow out with a series victory in front of Brisbane fans at Suncorp Stadium on July 8.

Kangaroo coach Tim Sheens denied him a Test farewell earlier this year, leaving him out of the one-off trans-Tasman Test loss to the Kiwis.

But there's no chance Queensland coach Mal Meninga would deny him a tribute farewell unless he was injured or suspended.

"I'd love to go out a winner but NSW is a great side and we're going to have to be very good to win it," he said. Hodges said he wasn't dirty about being left out of the Australia side for what would have been his last Test.

"I've got nothing to prove to anyone. I've done everything I can in the game and I'm very proud of that," he said.

Topics:  justin hodges, maroons, stateoforigin2015




REVEALED: Rocky's worst suburbs for car theft

Thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles as easy opportunity crime in Rockhampton.Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin

47 vehicles stolen in last three months

Fatal backpacker stabbing: Cries of 'Allahu Akbar'

French tourist and dog killed, local resident hurt

Ambulance, police called to sudden death at Rocky prison

Emergency Services, Ambulance, QAS,  Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

UPDATE, 1pm: CIB investigating sudden death of prisoner

Latest deals and offers

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

Five new things to see and do at this year's Muster

There's already plenty of fun to be had at the XXXX bar.

Here are five new things to see and do at this year's Gympie Muster

Cheap Fraser Coast island drops its price

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.