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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hodgson return has sparked Sale

Charlie Hodgson
Charlie Hodgson's absence from the Sale side coincided with four defeats

The improvement of Sale Sharks' results since Charlie Hodgson's return from injury is no coincidence, says his former England team-mate Ben Cohen.

Hodgson has kicked 46 points in helping Sale win two of their last three games since overcoming his foot problem.

"He has been injured," said Cohen. "But now he's back and things are starting to turn around a bit for us.

"Charlie's a world class 10. How he's not involved with England is beyond me," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"Charlie at 10 is everything for Sale.

"That being said, the boys who stepped in - Nick Macleod and Lee Thomas - were fantastic and you couldn't ask any more from them."

Hodgson kicked 14 points on his return on 16 October in the 27-26 Heineken Cup win over Cardiff.

But Sale had gone five games without a league win prior to Friday night's Guinness Premiership home game against Gloucester at Edgeley Park.

And, despite being outscored three tries to one, Hodgson's seven penalties and a conversion in only his second league game back helped Sale to a 28-23 win.

That second league victory of the season has lifted Sale to seventh in the table ahead of a two-game break to concentrate on LV Cup duty.



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