Dave Hodges (rugby union)

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David Hodges
Date of birth (1968-09-15) 15 September 1968 (age 46)
Place of birth Long Beach, California
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 245 lb (111 kg; 17.5 st)
Occupation(s) Professional rugby union coach
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Lock
Number 8
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Occidental College
Steamboat RFC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Llanelli Scarlets
Llanelli Scarlets


National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1996–2004  United States 54 (20) 4t

David "Dave" Hodges (born 15 September 1968 in Long Beach, California) is an American rugby union coach of the United States national rugby union team,[1] the Eagles. Hodges is a former professional rugby union player, professional, collegiate American football player, and collegiate American football coach. Hodges was captain of the U.S. national rugby team for 28 matches, a U.S. record that stood until 2013.[2]

High School and Collegiate Years[edit]

Hodges played American football at the linebacker position at Long Beach Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.[3] It was during this period that Hodges saw his first rugby match as Belmont Shore Rugby Club practiced and played their matches on the same field that Hodges' high school team played football.[4]

Hodges played American football throughout his college years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California and received accolades in each of his four collegiate seasons. Hodges was named a Kodak All-American football player, an award given annually to the best American college football players at their respective positions.

Hodges began playing rugby at 18 as a freshman at Occidental College. Within two years, Hodges was named as a Collegiate All-American in 1990 and 1991. Teammates and opponents speak highly of his leadership and athleticism. Greg Jenkins, a teammate said, "He's (Hodges) a leader--a great athlete with leverage, agility and aggressiveness. No one can match his ability. He's pretty much in a league of his own."[5]

US national rugby team[edit]

Hodges was capped 54 times by the U.S. national rugby team at lock, flanker and at the #8 position. He made his debut as a substitute against Uruguay in 1996 at Fletcher's Fields in Markham, Ontario, Canada.

Hodges was the U.S. national team Captain 27 times during 2000 through 2003. Hodges won the USA Rugby Athlete of the Year in 2005.

A match between the USA and France, on July 3, 2004, marked the final game that Hodges represented the United States as a player. After nine years of service to the Eagles, Hodges explained his decision to retire. "I think now is the right time. I’m still playing at a high level and I think I wanted to be a part of the team, as long as I was selected, and of the transition . . . We’re building for the next World Cup and so the more I stay around, that’s one less guy in the XV that coach has experience for the next World Cup."[6]

Professional Rugby Career[edit]

Hodges played professional rugby with Llanelli Rugby Football Club in Llanelli, Wales from 1997–1999 and 2001–2005. Hodges played for Bridgend Rugby Football Club in 1999–2000. In 2001 and 2002, he was named Player of the Year for the Llanelli Scarlets. Hodges was also the Strength Coach for the Llanelli Scarlets from 2001–2004. When Hodges announced his retirement from playing professional rugby, Llanelli Scarlets chief executive Stuart Gallacher said, "David has been a highly influential member of our squad for seven years. He is a real professional."[7]

In 2009, Hodges was named Player of the Decade (2000–2009) by Rugby Magazine.[8][9]

Coaching career[edit]

Rugby Union[edit]

USA Rugby (2009–2012)
USA Eagles Assistant Coach, Forwards and Performance Analyst

Head Coach (2007–2009) Denver Barbarians Rugby Club,[10] a USA Rugby Super League[11] team, based in Denver, Colorado.

USA Rugby (2005–2006)
High Performance Manager
Assistant US National Team Coach
Head Coach, USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans
Game Development Officer, High School Administrative Model

Strength coach: for the Scarlets (2001–2004).

American Football[edit]

Greenville College: Defensive Backs Coach (1994)
Hamburg Blue Devils: Player/Coach (1993–1994)
Macalester College: Defensive Coordinator (1990–1993)


Rugby Union[edit]

  • 2009 USA Rugby Union Player of the Decade (Rugby Magazine)
  • 1996-2004 USA NATIONAL TEAM 54 Times
  • 2001-2002 Llanelli Scarlets Player of the Year
  • 2000-03 USA NATIONAL TEAM CAPTAIN 27 Times
  • 1995-97 Member of 1996 National Championship team OMBAC
  • 1990,1991 All-American Collegiate XV

American Football[edit]

  • 1989 Kodak All American
  • 1989 MVP All Southern California Intercollegiate Athlete Conference
  • 1986-89 All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athlete Conference Team