Lewsey backs Hodgson in kicking role

British & Irish Lions hopeful Josh Lewsey has defended teammate Charlie Hodgson in the wake of England's disappointing Twickenham defeat to France. [more]

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British & Irish Lions hopeful Josh Lewsey has defended teammate Charlie Hodgson in the wake of England’s disappointing Twickenham defeat to France.

The England fly-half, who also has Lions pretentions, has been criticised for missing three penalty attempts and a drop goal in the 18-17 defeat, but Lewsey is adamant the Sale Sharks fly-half has the full backing of the rest of the England squad.

"I know that people will point to individual players but as a squad we protect the kickers, everyone has bad days," Lewsey told BBC Sport.

"Kickers get the glory when they win the game for you and they get butchered when people think they lose the game."

"Jonny Wilkinson scored the winning drop goal in the World Cup final but missed four kicks beforehand. What if he had missed that drop goal?

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"Charlie Hodgson did not have a great game with the boot but I have seen him win many games like that," Lewsey added.

Lewsey insists that solely focusing on Hodgson’s performance will prevent England from moving on as a team, and believes individuals within the side will be highly critical of their own performances.

"It is easy to just blame someone else but in this squad everyone looks at whether they made a mistake and what they could have done more," Lewsey said.

"We don’t pick out individuals. We share the glory and the defeat.

"Turnovers and penalties cost us in the second half but I have no issues with the referee Paddy O’Brien. He was very consistent and that’s what you ask your ref to be."

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