|Weight||82kg (12st 12lb)|
It took Charlie Hodgson only 80 minutes to blaze across the England rugby firmament when scoring a record 44 points on his Test debut against Romania at Twickenham 11 years ago.
Success has laced his intervening seasons. So too have injuries that deprived him of more international caps but he toured Australasia with the England squad in the summer of 2010 and started the three midweek matches. His first Test start in 44 months produced his seventh Test try, against Scotland at Murrayfield in February 2012.
It was the only one of the match, helped England to a 13-6 win and stemmed from his opportunist charge-down of an intended clearance kick by Dan Parks. A week later, he produced a repeat performance – this time charging down another by Italy’s Andrea Masi and pouncing on the rolling ball for another touchdown. He missed the subsequent game against Wales at Twickenham after suffering a hand injury in training that required stitches and was an unused bench replacement in the final matches of the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship against France in Paris and Ireland at Twickenham.
Records are almost commonplace to him as the all-time leading Premiership points-scorer before switching from Sale Sharks to Saracens on a long-term contract starting in 2011-12. By then, he had accumulated 1,870 in 162 Premiership appearances for the Sharks during which he had landed 619 place kicks. His two matches on the 2012 summer tour of South Africa brought an aggregate of 31 points from 11 conversions and three penalty goals in the wins over the South African Barbarians South and North teams at Kimberley and Potchefstroom.
On New Year’s Day 2010, he produced a tackle on Ugo Monye in the ebbing seconds that secured the Sharks a 21-16 win over Harlequins, contradicting the theory that defence is not among his assets.
Between February 2003 and November 2006, Halifax-born Charlie started all except one of the 24 Tests for which he was available. He had helped England towards a Grand Slam in 2003, missed the subsequent RWC, required a second operation on an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was absent for eight months.
A shrewd decision maker, subtle distributor and clinical points’ accumulator, Charlie, a Lion in New Zealand seven years ago, now has a breakdown in 179 Premiership appearances of 1,992 points comprising 31 tries, 248 conversions, 409 penalty goals and 38 dropped goals by mid-March this year.
Charlie had been called into the England squad to replace the injured Jonny Wilkinson before the opening Investec International in the autumn of 2010 against New Zealand and was an unused bench replacement. He appeared for the final minutes in the triumph over Australia the following week to bridge a gap of 29 months since his previous Test against the All Blacks in Auckland.
The 11th anniversary of his Sharks’ debut in the 39-17 win over Auch was on January 13, 2011. He had been recruited for Sale by James Wade, the farsighted Jets manager in the summer of 2000 but his origins were at Bradford GS, Old Brodleians and Durham University along the way to playing for Yorkshire and England.
269 points – 8T, 44C, 44PG, 3DG
2001 R 2002 S(R), I(R), It(R), Arg 2003 F, W, It(R) 2004 NZ(1,2), A, C, SA, A 2005 W, F, I, It, S, A, NZ, Sam 2006 W, It, S, F, NZ, Arg, SA 2008 S(R), NZ, 2010 A(R), Sam(R), SA(R), W(R), W(R) 2012 S, It
Last updated: June 26, 2012