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Aviva Premiership
Hodgson excited by new challenge
ESPNscrum Staff
August 27, 2011
An emotional Charlie Hodgson waves goodbye to the Sale fans, Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs, Aviva Premiership, Edgeley Park, Stockport, England, April 22, 2011
Hodgson waved goodbye to Sale Sharks at the end of last season © Getty Images
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Saracens summer signing Charlie Hodgson is relishing a fresh challenge with the defending Aviva Premiership champions.

The 30-year-old fly-half ended his 11-year association with Sale Sharks at the end of last season having penned a three-year deal with Sarries back in January. Hodgson cited the need for a "new challenge" when the agreement was announced and is determined to steer the Vicarage Road-based club to further success this season.

The Premiership record-scorer, who made his Saracens bow in a 45-20 pre-season victory over Bedford Blues earlier this month, has also defended his new team's style of rugby. "I know they were getting a lot of stick for perhaps being too boring [last season] but at the same time it won them the league, didn't it?" he told Sarries TV.

"Nobody is going to look back in a few years' time and slag Saracens off for the way they play because ultimately it's Saracens' name on the championship trophy. Hopefully we can build on that. I wouldn't have come here if I didn't feel I could win something.

"There is a lot of unfinished business from my point of view with the club scene. Although I won the league with Sale in 2006 we wanted to go on and be stronger. But, unfortunately, it wasn't to be so I am hoping the win that Saracens got last year, we can build from that now and be successful in the league each year and obviously into Europe as well."

Hodgson bagged 12 points in Saracens' victory over the Blues and promises there is a lot more to come. "For me it was good to get a run-out with the guys," he said. "I've really enjoyed my time here so far and I am really looking forward to the season ahead."

Hodgson has not been the only big-name recruit by Saracens this summer, with his signature arguably gazumped by the deal for South Africa captain John Smit. The 33-year-old hooker will join the reigning champions in October, after the World Cup.

Smit labelled Saracens a "special rugby club" after agreeing to sign, and Hodgson echoed his new team-mate's sentiments, admitting joining the club is a very attractive proposition for players.

"Obviously what was going on the field [attracts you]," Hodgson said. "You could see the performances, back-to-back finals speaks for itself. But the way they look after you off the field as well, which was important to me and my family. The whole package was second to none. I feel I've made a good decision and I am really looking forward to it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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