Rugby Championship

Hodge calls for patience in Bloem

2017-09-26 17:02
Reece Hodge (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Wallabies utility back Reece Hodge is happy to be his side's Mr Fixit, a position many a star has played in before him.

Hodge's versatility has proven to be one of his greatest assets in his young Wallaby career, having filled a hole in the backline at almost every position in his 17 Tests to date.

The 23-year-old has made a wing spot his own in Dane Haylett-Petty's absence but he has also spent time at fly-half at training, Michael Cheika backing his playmaking abilities should Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale both be struck down through injury or suspension at the same time.

"I am used to covering everything now so I am prepared to play anywhere from 10 to 15, if there is a worse case scenario," Hodge told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

"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."

Hodge isn't fussed by what position he plays, as long as he gets a start.

An area that caused more concern for the Rebels star is the Wallabies' last start in South Africa, a frustrating 18-10 loss in Pretoria this time last year.

In Bloemfontein, Hodge believes patience will be key.

"We were definitely in the box seat for a lot of the game and probably just got a bit frustrated, needed to score every time we were down in their half sort of thing," he said.

"Definitely patience is something that came out of that game last year and definitely taking our chances because we definitely created enough but they took theirs a lot better in that game."

A game at altitude also naturally produces questions about just how far Hodge may be able to kick the ball.

He was famously slotting them from 70 out at training last year but he is yet to test that aspect of his game.

"It was pretty strong wind so I won't comment on predicting range," said Hodge with a wry grin.

"We'll see how it goes during the game."

Kick-off for Saturday's Rugby Championship Test between Springboks and the Wallabies in Bloemfontein is at 17:05 SA time.

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