Johnno backing Hodgson
England boss has confidence in Sale ace
Last Updated: 12/05/10 9:15am
Martin Johnson has insisted Charlie Hodgson has his full confidence after the Sale fly-half was recalled to the England set-up.
"Charlie wouldn't have been picked if he didn't have our full confidence."
Martin Johnson Quotes of the week
Hodgson, the all-time leading scorer in the Guinness Premiership, has not played for England since a disastrous tour to New Zealand in 2008.
Hodgson was targeted by the All Blacks in the first Test before he was hauled off after 50 minutes of the 37-20 defeat.
And harshly, Hodgson carried the can with RFU elite director Rob Andrew, the stand-in coach for the tour, highly critical of the 29-year-old.
However, Hodgson has continued to shine for the Sharks - and having worked hard on his defence, Johnson has no qualms about including him in his 44-man squad for the five-match tour Down Under.
"I think his form is good and the things he has had to work on have improved with Sale," said Johnson.
"This tour is an opportunity for those players who have got international experience but for whatever reason haven't played that much in the last couple of years.
"Charlie wouldn't have been picked if he didn't have our full confidence.
"I think his defence has improved. If I didn't I would have taken someone else.
"The next step is to play with us. He's a guy who we want to give an opportunity to - what more chance do you need on an England tour?"