The Utah Warriors signed Fly Half Joel Hodgson to a multi-year Major League Rugby contract. The 30-year-old flyhalf is 5’10” and 176 lbs.
Joel was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in England and attended the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle from 2000 to 2010. He played rugby and also played for the England U18s at scrumhalf and then flyhalf for the England U19s.
Joel has made 110 appearances in the English Premiership after playing 105 matches with the Newcastle Falcons from 2010 through 2014 and again from 2016 through 2022, and 5 matches with the Northhampton Saints in the 2014-2015 season.
He was loaned to the Rotherham Titans during the 2013-2014 season, where he made three appearances. He also played in the RFU Championship with Yorkshire Carnegie in 2015-2016, making 24 appearances.
Joel joins the Utah Warriors after a short-term contract with the Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship. He made his debut against the Ayrshire Bulls on 2 September 2022.
Utah Warriors Comments
“Prior to speaking to Brandon [Sparks], I had always heard that Zion bank stadium was the standout grounds of the MLR,” said Hodgson. “Once I got to know Brandon and learned what the Utah Warriors were about as an organization, the work they did in the community, and their mission to grow rugby in the US, it was a no-brainer that I wanted to be a part of the journey.”
“Joel has a tremendous amount of experience at one of the highest levels of rugby, playing Premiership Rugby in England,” said Warriors’ General Manager Brandon Sparks. “Having someone like him in our locker room and helping to lead the boys on the field will be a big boost for us this coming season.”
“Having over 150 appearances for the Newcastle Falcons in both premiership and European competitions, I have experienced both the highs and lows of professional rugby,” said Hodgson. “I hope from my experiences I am able to help my teammates perform under different pressures throughout the season. I also hope to share any insight into how things are done in rugby in Europe to try and help Utah and the MLR grow. I’m excited to learn more about the MLR and to experience new techniques and approaches to the game from my coaches and teammates as well.”