Hill hop­ing Chiefs can do re­peat after in­jury night­mare

The Rugby Paper - - British Rugby - ■ By NEALE HAR­VEY

EX­ETER mid­field hit­man Sam Hill has his heart set on a tro­phy clean sweep after the agony of miss­ing last sea­son’s Pre­mier­ship fi­nal win through in­jury.

Hill, 24, fea­tured through­out Chiefs’ march to the play-offs but dam­aged lig­a­ments in his foot in the fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son league game at Glouces­ter, mean­ing a six-month lay-off and deny­ing him a place in the Twick­en­ham show­piece against Wasps.

How­ever, after prov­ing his fitness with a man-ofthe-match dis­play in Ex­eter’s win at Sara­cens last week­end, Hill is now tar­get­ing back-to-back vic­to­ries over Le­in­ster as Chiefs aim for a Cham­pi­ons Cup, Pre­mier­ship and An­glo-Welsh Cup tre­ble.

Hill said: “It’s great to be back and I was happy with my per­for­mance against Sara­cens. I like play­ing against guys like Brad Bar­ritt be­cause you want to test your­self against top competition and I came through it pretty well.

“My in­jury was very frus­trat­ing and it was tough miss­ing the semi­fi­nal and then the fi­nal against Wasps. I missed out on the fi­nal the year be­fore as well due to a ham­string in­jury.

“Hope­fully there’s much more to come. We’re do­ing well in three com­pe­ti­tions and with qual­ity play­ers like Luke Cowan-Dickie, Alec Hep­burn and Dave Ew­ers re­turn­ing to full fitness, we’re 100 per cent con­fi­dent we can re­tain our ti­tle and tar­get the two other com­pe­ti­tions.

“We’ve got Le­in­ster next week and if we can beat them at home and then take some points away, we’ll be very well placed.”

De­spite twice tour­ing with the Sax­ons and be­ing called into se­nior Eng­land squads in 2014 and 2016, Hill, an U20s Ju­nior World Cup win­ner in 2013, has yet to be fully capped.

Re­cent call-ups for team­mates Harry Wil­liams, Henry Slade and Sam Sim­mons pro­vide hope, though, with Hill adding: “Their se­lec­tion shows how the club is mov­ing for­ward.

“To­wards the end of last sea­son my form was pretty good so it’s a case of start­ing again now, fo­cussing on my club form and tak­ing it from there.”

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