Saints scrum-half Hodgson revels in dream debut

Phil Dowson gives some advice to Joel Hodgson during Saints' LV= Cup clash against Newcastle (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Phil Dowson gives some advice to Joel Hodgson during Saints' LV= Cup clash against Newcastle (picture: Sharon Lucey)
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Joel Hodgson has labelled his Saints debut ‘an incredible experience’ and is now desperate to make plenty more memories in the green, black and gold.

The scrum-half made his first start in last Saturday’s 37-23 success against his former club Newcastle Falcons in the LV= Cup opener at Franklin’s Gardens.

And Hodgson didn’t disappoint, putting in an impressive display that earned him plenty of plaudits from coaches and team-mates alike.

The 22-year-old admits it was a day that is now etched in his mind and he is desperate to ensure it is just the start of something good at Saints.

“I haven’t really stopped thinking about it to be honest,” said Hodgson.

“The noise coming out of that tunnel, when we were making a line-break or a good tackle - the stadium seemed to erupt.

“I’ve certainly not been used to that coming down from Kingston Park. It was an incredible experience and one I hope to repeat time and time again.”

And he added: “It took five minutes for me to get used to things, to get my passes going, relax and treat it as another game - I’ve played plenty of them since the age of eight.

“But once I got that five-minute period out the way, I felt comfortable, enjoyed it and didn’t really want it to end to be honest.”

The fact that it was a fixture against his former club made it a little easier for Hodgson to get over those initial nerves.

And he admits that, at times, it felt like he was back in the surroundings he left during the summer.

“At times it felt like I was on a back pitch at Kingston Park during a normal training week, running 15 on 15, so it was good,” Hodgson said.

“It made things a lot easier because I knew exactly what to expect with it being the same personnel so that helped me settle down and get into my game.

“I was able to do the things that I like to do well.”