Raiders’ new skipper not going to let history repeat
Star Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson is sick of watching the NRL finals from his couch.
Since arriving from England for the 2015 season, the 29-year-old has enjoyed just one taste of play-off action at the Raiders.
Canberra's sensational run to the 2016 preliminary final had many experts predicting big things for Ricky Stuart's team.
But the Raiders' past two seasons have been blighted by injuries, close losses and blowing big leads.
Hodgson hopes the additions of England internationals John Bateman and Ryan Sutton will help Canberra return to the top eight.
"I'm sick of watching other teams play finals," Hodgson told AAP.
"I can't put Fox Sports on anymore when it's finals time because I'm sick of seeing the ads with everyone else in it."
Having Hodgson available from round one is only adding to the optimism in the nation's capital.
The Raiders sorely missed the ace No.9 in 2018 as he sat out more than half the season after undergoing a knee reconstruction.
On his return in round 15, NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler declared Hodgson had the on-field "aura" of Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith.
Hodgson says he is feeling refreshed after only returning in January to Raiders training.
"It was a tough old year last year," Hodgson said.
"I played the World Cup at the end of 2017 and then I did my knee so I was straight into rehab to get it right.
"I think this off-season is the first proper break I've had with my family and a bit of time to rest in a couple of years."