Jamin Hodgkins savours international debut with Canada Under-20
Bermudian Jamin Hodgkins spoke of his delight at finally making his debut for the Canadian Under-20 rugby team as he continues his pursuit of a professional career in the sport.
Hodgkins, a former Warwick Academy student, who has represented Bermuda at under-19 level, was named in the Canada squad as they kicked off their U20 Canada Conference campaign with a 32-24 defeat by Zimbabwe in a highly competitive match at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, on Saturday.
Tries from Relmu Wilson-Valdes, Mehdi Porchet and Ethan Fryer, as well as a series of successful conversions from Hodgkins, gave Canada hope of a spectacular turnaround, as the hosts came back from a 20-0 deficit to lead in the second half, but it was not to be as Zimbabwe ultimately prevailed.
While it may not have been the result Hodgkins would have liked to mark his debut, the 20-year-old, who had previously represented Canada at under-18 level, having gone to school on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, was proud to finally fulfil a longstanding aspiration.
“Playing for Canada Under-20 is something I’ve wanted to do since I was younger,” said Hodgkins, whose mother is Canadian and father Bermudian. “I’ve played for the under-18s before but my main goal was always to play for the under-20s.
“Being able to do finally do that was a really great feeling.
“From a team perspective we had a really slow start to the game and went down 20-0 but we showed a lot of spirit and fight to come back and get ahead. Unfortunately we let it slip in the dying moments.
“From a personal point of view, there are obviously things I can work and build on, but I feel like I gave it my all to fight for the jersey.”
Hodgkins and his team-mates will be aiming to make amends on Thursday, when they face Chile, before wrapping up the campaign with a match against Uruguay next Tuesday.
For the fly half, it is another opportunity to showcase his talent and take another step to fulfilling his ultimate ambitions of turning professional and representing the senior men’s team.
“On this tour I’m just looking at winning the next game against Chile and then hopefully from there we can go on and have a good go at Uruguay,” added Hodgkins, who attends Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales.
“In the further future I went to keep pushing on playing rugby overseas and try and gain a professional contract somewhere and ultimately play for the full Canadian men’s team.”