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Hill backing England Under-20s

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Paul Hill says that England will need to take South Africa 'head on' when the two sides meet for their World Rugby Under-20s Championship semi-final on Monday evening.

Clubmate Harry Mallinder leads the side out at Manchester City Academy Stadium and the Saints prop - currently touring Australia with the senior squad - recalled his pair of meetings with a physical Junior Boks side in the 2014 and 2015 tournaments.

“I’ve played South Africa twice and both times they were a big physical side," Hill said, speaking to England Rugby TV. "The lads that were there last year, I think they’ll lead from the front, with everyone else getting behind them and taking South Africa head on.

“Sometimes in the pool stages you come up against easier teams. When you enter the semi-finals is when you start playing a better quality of rugby and that’s when the pressure’s on.”

Having won the tournament in 2014, Hill knows exactly what is needed to come out on top, and he says that the amount of training allows for plenty of time to gel with team mates.

“It’s a great time to bond. You don’t actually train that much in the Under-20 Championship because the games are so close to one another. You have a lot of down time so there’s a lot of chances to bond with one another.”

Kick off in Manchester is at 7:45pm and the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 3.

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