RWU HQ – With the World Cup Final just a mere day away, we here at Rugby Wrap Up are continuing to check in on what some of the former USA Rugby Stars are up to now. What are former American lock Luke Gross and former American back-row Dave Hodges up to these days? Let’s find out!
Luke Gross: Believe it or not, but Gross was not always a rugger at heart. It wasn’t until he turned 24 that he truly gave his attention to rugby. Prior to his rugby days, Gross was a Division I basketball player at Marshall University.
Gross began his rugby career when he joined the Cincinnati Wolfhounds. The 6-foot-9 hoopster began playing rugby professionally in 1997, when he join Harlequins. Gross registered 6 caps with the team between 1997-1998. In all, Gross played professionally for 10 years, playing with seven teams; Harlequins, Rovigo, R. Roma, Scarlets, Newcastle, and Doncaster Sheffield. In those 10 years Gross made an impressive 76 caps.
From an International standpoint, the Indiana native began playing for Team USA in 1996. He played for the States until 2003. Gross retired with 62 caps, which made him the all-time caps leader. However, his record was later broken in 2011 by Mike MacDonald.
Where is he now? Gross currently works in Boulder, Colorado with USA Rugby. Gross is the High Performance Player Development Manager and U20 coach.
Dave Hodges: Dave Hodges was an original dual-sport athlete when it came to football and rugby. As a successful high school linebacker, Hodges enrolled at Occidental College. During his freshman year at Occidental, Hodges began playing rugby. Hodges was a two-time Collegiate All-American during his time at Occidental.
Not only did Hodges find great success in college, his international career sky-rocketed as well. Between 19996-2004, Hodges earned 54 caps, including 28 matches as captain in the back-row for the Eagles. Hodges also won USA Rugby Athlete of the Year in 2005.
Aside from international play, Hodges also had a successful seven year professional career. Hodges had two stints with the Llanelli Scarlets and a one-year stint with Bridgend. Not to mention Rugby Magazine named Hodges the Player of the Decade, from 2000-2009, in 2009.
Where is he now? After ending his playing career in January of 2005, Hodges quickly start his coaching career. From 2005-2006 Hodges was the head coach for USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans, Assistant U.S. National Team Coach, High Performance Manager, and Game Development Officer for USA Rugby. After 2006, Hodges became the head coach for the Denver Barbarians Rugby Club for the next two years.
Hodges is currently an USA Eagles Assistant Coach and Forwards and Performance Analyst for USA Rugby.
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