Back row bruiser Hill en­joy­ing steep climb

The Rugby Paper - - News - By NEALE HAR­VEY

ENG­LAND teenage pro­tege Ted Hill is de­ter­mined not to be a ‘one-cap won­der’ as he aims to ramp-up his World Cup prospects by fir­ing Worces­ter’s bid for suc­cess.

Hill, 19, made his topflight de­but against Le­ices­ter only in Septem­ber af­ter star­ring for Eng­land U20s in the sum­mer, but that did not stop Red Rose boss Ed­die Jones pick­ing the bul­lock­ing back row for his Novem­ber squad be­fore hand­ing him a Test de­but against Ja­pan.

The War­riors academy prod­uct said: “It’s been crazy and there’s a lot of stuff I can get bet­ter at, but on a per­sonal note it’s been an ex­cit­ing few months from play­ing in the U20s World Cup fi­nal to train­ing and then play­ing for Eng­land.

“It was mad to be even named in that ini­tial train­ing squad so soon af­ter play­ing my first few Premier­ship games, but Ed­die just told me to learn as much as I could and then show him what I could do.”

The 6ft 5in and 17st 9lb (112kg) flanker added: “Ed­die didn’t go into a lot of depth over why he’d picked me but he’d been pleased with what he’d seen from me and saw some po­ten­tial. There’s huge back row com­pe­ti­tion but hope­fully he’ll con­tinue to do that and I can keep play­ing well at the club.”

Hill added: “To be with the best peo­ple in the coun­try was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and then to be named for that Ja­pan game and ac­tu­ally get on was even more crazy. Singing the an­them, run­ning on the pitch and then get­ting my cap seems sur­real even now.

“It’s all still sink­ing in but I can’t linger on it too much be­cause there’s so much stuff to get on with.”

With im­prov­ing Worces­ter well placed for a top six chal­lenge un­der Alan Solomons, Hill says: “There’s a lot of con­fi­dence at the mo­ment and we know as a group what we’re ca­pa­ble of and how we can go about get­ting there.

“My goals are pretty sim­i­lar: I want to im­press at Worces­ter, show what I can do and keep im­prov­ing be­cause I’m nowhere near achiev­ing my po­ten­tial yet.

“With the guys I’m around at Worces­ter, there’s def­i­nitely the scope to do that this sea­son.”

Hill spent his for­ma­tive years at Malvern RFC and will not be for­sak­ing his roots. He ex­plained: “I got a cou­ple of shirts from the Ja­pan game so I’ll prob­a­bly keep one and give the other one to Malvern, where I played all my ju­nior rugby.

“They started me off and sup­ported me and I still do some coach­ing with the Colts there, so it’s al­ways nice to get back each week and see some fa­mil­iar faces.”

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Eng­land bolter: Ted Hill in ac­tion for Worces­ter against Le­ices­ter

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