A prodigious kicker of the rugby ball, Reece Hodge has proven to be an invaluable utility member of the Wallabies.
Educated at the Manly Selective High School, Hodge went on to represent Australia at schoolboy and U20 levels however injury cruelled much of those opportunities. He recovered from the setbacks to be snapped up by the Melbourne Rebels for the 2016 season. Hodge starred for the Victorian franchise in Super Rugby and it was no surprise when he was drafted into the national squad later that same year. He was named in his first match day squad during the Rugby Championships and made his debut against New Zealand in Wellington.
Over the course of his seven-year Test career Hodge’s versatility has come to the fore with caps earned in every backline position bar halfback. Since his debut Hodge has played in 62 of Australia’s 82 Tests however ten of those missed were due to injury or unavailability.
In 2020, Hodge - with just a single fly half Test cap to his name - stepped into the Bledisloe Cup cauldron at Suncorp Stadium, wore the number 10 jersey, performed with his trademark ‘no frills’ approach, scored 14 points and led Australia to a narrow 24-22 victory.
Early in 2023 the Rebels confirmed that Hodge will leave the club at the end of the year after he signed a three-year deal with Bayonne in the French Top 14.
2012 Represented Australian Schools against New Zealand Schools (L 14-16)
2013 Represented Australian U20s
2016 Hodge won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Adam Ashley-Cooper on the wing against New Zealand in the 2nd Test at Wellington. He picked up his first run-on XV cap when chosen on the left wing against South Africa in Brisbane. Hodge scored his first Test try in the 32-8 win over Wales in Cardiff. He ended the season with 10 Test caps, five of which were won as a starting inside centre.
2017 Hodge played off the bench in the each of the opening five Tests before he secured selection on the left wing for eight of the year’s final nine Tests. He nailed a monster penalty goal from 55 metres out in the final minutes of the 3rd Test against New Zealand in Brisbane to seal a Wallaby victory over the World Champions for just the second time since the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Hodge then started his first international at fly half against Japan in Yokohama. He assumed the kicking duties in that match and duly converted all nine Wallaby tries in what was a flawless place-kicking display.
2018 Hodge played in each of the first nine Tests, the last six of which were as the starting outside centre, before he fractured his right ankle in a non-contact training accident. As a result, Hodge was unavailable for both the final Bledisloe Test and the entire Spring Tour.
2019 He collected caps in all four matches of The Rugby Championship and was then selected to his first Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately, his campaign was thrown into disarray after he was cited for a dangerous tackle on star Fiji flanker Peceli Yato who, in the opening 26 minutes of that match, had run riot over the Wallabies. The citing commissioner found that the tackle met the red card threshold. A three-person judicial committee agreed and handed Hodge a three-match suspension. One silver line to come from that match was that Hodge became the 29th Wallaby to score 100 Test match points. Hodge returned to win his sixth cap for the year in the quarter-final loss to England.
2020 Hodge was one of four Wallaby backs who played in all six Tests of the COVID-reduced international season. He came off the bench in the opening three Tests against New Zealand before he moved to fly half for the 24-22 win in Brisbane. Hodge then contributed 26 of Australia’s 31 points in the two drawn fixtures against Argentina.
2021 He played in nine of the Wallabies 14 Tests, the first six of which all came off the bench. During that stretch, in the first Test against South Africa on the Gold Coast, Hodge became the 60th Australian to play 50 Test matches. A pectoral injury suffered against Japan in Oita forced him to miss all three Spring Tour fixtures in the U.K.
2022 Three starts at fullback and one at inside centre were among the eight caps Hodge earned throughout the year.