Austin Gilgronis signed Ned Hodson for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 26-year-old center/fullback/wing (27 in March) is 6’1″ and 210 lbs.
Ned returns to Austin where he played in the inaugural MLR season with Austin Elite in 2018. He played 418 minutes in 7 matches, starting 4 times at fullback and outside center.
Since then, Ned returned to play with Cork Constitution, while pursuing screenwriting and acting.
Ned is from Oxford, England, and spent much of his youth and adulthood in Ireland. He attended Midleton College where he played rugby. He also played with Munster A Schools and would progress through Munster Rugby to play for the U18s, 19s, and U20s, Munster A, as well as the 7s team.
In 2014 he played in the Limerick World Club 7s and attended the Ireland 7s Training Camp in 2017. He went on to play with Munster 7s in the 2017 Rugby Europe Grand Prix.
Ned played rugby for Unversity College Cork and then joined Cork Constitution in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League, which he played prior to playing with Austin Elite in 2018 and rejoined them following that season.
In 2019 Ned turned to another love, attending Met Filmschool, and appeared in The Cannon Street Cannibals that year.
Austin Gilgronis Comments
The AGs are elated to announce the signing of outside center, Ned Hodson. Hodson played with Austin Elite in year one of Major League Rugby; he’s excited to make his return to Austin, this time as an AG.
“I’ve been out of rugby for a little bit and I’ve just missed that challenge, that aggression, that physicality that doesn’t really exist in any other sphere of life… not legally anyway,” says Hodson. “I really missed it, and I feel really lucky to get a second chance to step into that world.”
After two seasons back home in Ireland with his club Cork Constitution, a now 26-year-old Hodson got the itch to return to professional rugby. After fielding offers from the AGs and San Diego Legion, Hodson settled on the Texas capital he called home for the 2018 season. “I just really fell in love with Austin a few years back and I felt really good about the lads that stuck around,” says Hodson. “I’m a big family guy, and that was the feeling I got talking to Sam [Harris], Zinzan [Elan-Puttick], and Mason [Pedersen].”
AG Head Coach Sam Harris believes Ned Hodson can cover several positions in the backline, which could prove useful in the slog of the 18-week regular season. “Ned’s versatility initially grabbed my attention; after diving a bit deeper I found Ned is a genuine finisher, confrontational in contact, and can also play the distributor role if needed,” says Harris. “In speaking to him, I think he’s matured nicely as a player since 2018.”
Returning To Austin
AGs Head Coach Sam Harris stumbled upon Ned Hodson after delving into the club’s playing history. “I was really keen to retain the AG OGs that we had on the roster like Mason [Pedersen] and Zinny [Zinzan Elan-Puttick], but through the recruitment process I discovered that I could bring founding members back to the group like Ned [Hodson] and Paddy [Ryan] – I’m all for that,” says Harris. In Coach Harris’ film study from Austin Elite’s first season in Major League Rugby, he found that Ned Hodson was a crucial contributor in the team’s attack. Harris felt bringing back Hodson would not only provide a useful playing contribution but a unique perspective in the evolution of this franchise. “I think before knowing where you are going, you need to know where you have come from,” says Harris. “Bringing back OGs gives us a sense of foundation,” says Harris. “All four of those guys started from humble beginnings, and I would love for them to see the evolution of the franchise and ultimately play a major role in the success of the club.”
Aspirations Off The Pitch
Off the pitch, Ned Hodson aspires to be a screenwriter. In his two seasons back home in the UK, Hodson attended film school and picked up acting gigs whenever possible. The Irishman even has a fully written screenplay under his belt. “Movies are really important to me, and ideally I’d like to move into that field; I’m going to continue to pursue on-set opportunities in Austin wherever I can because I know Austin has a really robust acting community -so yea… give me plug to anyone that can put me on,” Hodson laughs.
Ned Hodson touched down in Austin last week and passed the COVID-19 screening. He’ll join the team for the start of pre-season training on February 8th.
“That feeling you get when you’re involved a really good team is second to none, it’s a really powerful bond and I’m looking forward to building those bonds and going to war with the lads,” says Hodson.
Welcome back to Austin, Ned Hodson!