Western Force captain Matt Hodgson knows more than anyone the frustration and disappointment of eight seasons of Super Rugby without reward.

He has experienced plenty of turbulence - high-profile players signing for big sums only to turn their back on the club, coaches quitting, fallouts between players and, the Firepower scandal.

But through it all Hodgson has been loyal to the club that gave him a start in professional rugby when his career was teetering.

He played in the Force's inaugural game against the Brumbies in 2006 and when he leads the side out against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday he will be the first player to notch 100 appearances for the club.

Hodgson, the last remaining player from the inaugural Force side, was told he might never play rugby again after knee, shoulder and ankle reconstructions, but was thrown a lifeline by former coach John Mitchell.

He admits he was tempted to chase the big dollars overseas in Europe or Japan.

"I was lucky enough to fill a roster spot, lucky enough to play in that game against the Brumbies and still be here now," Hodgson said. "They gave me my start, I wanted to repay them and this is the only way I know how.

"I was happy to get one game. To get 100 is a big achievement.

"I did think about a move but I've enjoyed Perth.

"I often talk to Gits and Drew (former Force players Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell) and see them sitting on the beach in France. It seems quite nice over there but for me it has always been about the Force.

"It has been tough seeing players come and go, seeing a new start every year, but I think we are building something special under Foles (coach Michael Foley)."

Hodgson is contracted until the end of 2015 and has not ruled out another season, but his focus is on getting a first win for the season on the weekend.

For that to happen, he knows the hosts need to start with intent. After 20 minutes against the Brumbies and Waratahs, they trailed by 15 and 21 points.

"We're disappointed with the game last week. The first 20 didn't go the way we wanted, they beat us in the contact zone and in the collision, had too much fast ball and too much ball," he said.

"As soon as we slowed down the breakdown and won the tackle contest we were in the game."

"They gave me my start, I wanted to repay them and this is the only way I know how.""Force skipper *Matt Hodgson *

The West Australian

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