Edinburgh lock Jamie Hodgson insists he is not allowing thoughts of potential World Cup involvement to distract him from performing consistently for his club.
The 24-year-old has won six caps since making his debut for Scotland 13 months ago and was belatedly called into Gregor Townsend’s squad for the autumn series after clubmate Sam Skinner pulled out through injury after the Australia Test.
Despite getting himself into international contention, Hodgson knows he still has plenty of work ahead to remain in the mix for the World Cup in France next autumn.
“The World Cup is out there in the distance,” he said. “The idea of being part of a World Cup is a dream of mine but the first step’s got to be playing good rugby for my club.
“Getting a run of games for Edinburgh and proving myself here is the most important thing in my mind just now.
“There are so many good locks at Edinburgh and with Scotland so it’s just a case of whoever is playing the best rugby at the time. It’s an incredibly competitive position so you’ve just got to focus on yourself and making sure you’re playing as well as you can.”
Hodgson did not play in any of the recent autumn Tests but is heartened by his latest involvement with the Scotland squad as he prepares to return to club action when Edinburgh visit Benetton on Saturday.
“I’ve had three weeks in camp training away with Scotland, which I’ve taken a lot from, and I feel in a really good place with my rugby so I’m excited to go and put it out on the pitch,” he said.
“It’s great to go away with Scotland and be training with the quality of players they have, learning off everyone and absorbing information off the coaches.
“When you come back to your club, you just want to take all that learning and all the hard work you did in training and put that out on the pitch.”
Edinburgh sit fifth in the United Rugby Championship table after winning four of their seven matches so far.
Hodgson hopes they can pick up where they left off after they won their last three games before the international break.
“I think the two away games in South Africa were disappointing,” said Hodgson, reflecting on the early part of Edinburgh’s season. “But since we’ve come back from there, we’ve had an impressive run, especially away to Cardiff.
“I think we’re in a pretty good position, we just want to be knocking on the door of the top four.”