He did not look out of place alongside Jonas Olsson at the heart of the Baggies defence and was not to blame for any of the Swans' goals.
"It was difficult choosing between him and McAuley because I like them both," Hodgson told the WBA website.
"Craig had those excellent matches for England Under-21s recently and has been very confident and in good form, whereas Gareth is still recovering to some extent from the virus.
"That tipped the scales in Craig's favour. His debut was quite good. The ball was in front of him quite a lot of the time. There wasn't a lot of crosses coming in or situations where there were heading duels.
"The play was in front of him, and in midfield, and I thought his positional play was good.
"He worked very hard. Once or twice he produced some good defensive moments. So I would say he will be quite happy with his individual debut but won't be happy that he's on a losing side."