Hodge – ‘Beale back a motivator’

Reece Hodge intends on holding on to the Wallabies number 12 jersey he made his own last year ahead of the upcoming June internationals.

Australia play Fiji, Scotland and Italy in their June Test matches starting with the Fijians this coming Saturday in Melbourne.

Hodge made nine appearances for the Wallabies in 2016 but his place appears to be under pressure with the return of Kurtley Beale to the international fold.

Beale has returned from Premiership finalists Wasps after being told by the Wallabies selectors that he needed to return to Australia to be in contention for Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup.

But Hodge is taking a diplomatic approach insisting that the competition can only serve to improve the side's fortunes and is prepared to fight for his place.

"I tried not to take too much notice of the story, but it was a bit of a motivator because if he was back I'd have to do all I could to get that position," Hodge said of Beale when speaking to AAP.

"He's a great player and obviously he wasn't available for selection last year so I wasn't really competing with him.

"I just want to push for the spot on my own merit whether he's back or not but healthy competition is always good for the squad."

" I'd happily play any position if it means getting a Test match for Australia; it's such an honour and privilege to pull on the jersey so if I do get selected I'm happy to fill in anywhere."