Jamie Hodgson is relishing the prospect of facing double World Cup winning Springbok Eben Etzebeth when Edinburgh face Sharks in Durban on Saturday.  

Hodgson made his injury comeback in the defeat to Stormers having not played since the loss to Clermont in early December.  

The Scotland international was pleased to be back involved.  

Hodgson said: “Sometimes it takes periods out of the game to realise how much you miss running out there.  

“I was sat watching all these games at home and not training as well, so to get back in the mix and play at the weekend was a brilliant feeling.” 

Despite the scoreline falling overwhelmingly in favour of Stormers, Hodgson said it was “little errors” that prevented Edinburgh from taking anything from the game. 

“Obviously everyone was really disappointed with the game,” he said.  

Scotland Rugby News: Evan Roos scored two tries in Stormers' win over EdinburghEvan Roos scored two tries in Stormers' win over Edinburgh (Image: Getty Images)

The second row added: “It is not all wrong. Set-piece wise, we scrummed pretty well and from an attack point of view, when we got in their half, particularly in the first half, we had two entries and we scored two tries.  

“It comes back to the territory battle. If we spent more time in their half. I firmly believe we would have scored more tries.  

“It's just little errors that let us down – drops of the ball and they are scoring breakaway tries – so it is not all wrong.” 

READ MORE: Five things we learned as Edinburgh hammered by Stormers

Defeat to Stormers saw Edinburgh slip to sixth in the URC table, and with only nine points separating Ospreys in 11th from Munster in fourth. 

If the capital club are to make the play-offs, they could do with securing some points – ideally four for a victory over 14th-placed Sharks – in Cape Town.  

“It’s massive,” Hodgson admitted.  

He added: “Last week we were sitting fourth in the table and in a really good spot.  

“We see ourselves as a top four club who wants to compete and try to win this competition.  

"We look at our run of games coming up and it is more than manageable for us to finish top four and get a home play-off game, so that's still our goal. This weekend it just becomes more important to get points from the game and get a win.” 

He will take confidence from being part of the Edinburgh side that beat Sharks two years ago – the first European team to win in South Africa since the URC’s expansion.  

The Livingston-born lock believes the squad can tap into that experience this time round.  

"We were the first team to go across to South Africa and get a win, so that was massive and potentially something at the time that we didn’t expect. Now we’re in a much different headspace and we come over and expect to win these games. 

“We know the challenge and we know Kings Park, it’s an incredible stadium. We know the threats that Sharks hold but having won there in the past will be a mental positive thing going into the game.” 

With Grant Gilchrist unavailable for personal reasons this weekend, Hodgson is likely to get another opportunity against Sharks.  

If he is head-to-head with Springboks enforcer Etzebeth, it is a challenge Hodgson will relish.  

He added: “It doesn’t take a genius to know he’s a quality player who has achieved a lot. He’s got a big physical presence on the field and in what he brings to the set-piece.  

“That’s something I and the rest of the pack will massively look forward to, a target for you to go for when he’s carrying the ball, putting pressure on him. 

Scotland Rugby News: South Africa enforcer Eben Etzebeth is likely to face Edinburgh on SaturdaySouth Africa enforcer Eben Etzebeth is likely to face Edinburgh on Saturday (Image: SNS)

“I came off the bench for Scotland against South Africa in the Autumn Nations but didn’t get too much confrontation with him.  

“Everyone’s human and even big trees can get pulled down.” 

If Hodgson can string together a run of games between now and the end of the season, he could put himself in contention for a place on Scotland’s summer tour.  

READ MORE: Scotland summer tour schedule confirmed

Hodgson hasn’t played for Scotland since his appearance against the Springboks in November 2021, but hopes to be involved with the national team for games against USA, Canada, Chile and Uruguay.  

The 26-year-old continued: "I want to get a run of games here and get back to the levels I was before.  

“The summer tour is 100% something I want to achieve and something I am aiming for. I think it is more than doable as well.”