Rugby-Hodgson appointed Jones's defence coach at Wallabies

FILE PHOTO: Rugby League - Warrington Wolves v Huddersfield Giants - Tetley's Challenge Cup Quarter Final - The Halliwell Jones Stadium - 14/7/13 Warrington Wolves' Brett Hodgson converts a try Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Livepic

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former National Rugby League (NRL) star and England assistant Brett Hodgson has been appointed defence coach of Australia, linking up with Eddie Jones after their partnership at Twickenham was nixed by Jones's sacking in December.

Hodgson was to join up with Jones at England after the autumn internationals but left the role in January after Steve Borthwick replaced the Australian head coach.

"I’m really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year," Hodgson said in a statement on Monday.

"There’s plenty of hard work ahead and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and making a positive contribution to the team.

"The Wallabies are a team everyone in Australia loves to get behind and from what I’ve seen so far there’s plenty of talent here and that’s something that’s really exciting."

Hodgson, the former head coach of English rugby league club Hull FC, played over 300 rugby league games as a fullback and wing in Australia and England.

"Brett’s a hard-working and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff," Jones said of the 45-year-old.

"He's worked under some great coaching mentors like Gus Gould and Tim Sheens in his time as a player and a coach, so he's well-schooled and I know he’ll give his best to the job of producing best defence in world."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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