Paul Hill credits his experiences in the Championship coal face for helping prepare him for life at the top level of English and European club rugby.
Hill has been one of the positives of the Saints’ season so far, seeing action in every match played so far during the campaign, and given his standards of performance it is easy to forget that he is still just 20 years of age.
Hill arrived at Franklin’s Gardens in the summer as a World Rugby Under-20 Championship winner in 2014 and a finalist in 2015. But it is his time in the Championship with Yorkshire Carnegie that he says has given him the grounding and confidence to step up a level against some of the continent’s best forwards.
“Experience makes you a better player, especially as a prop,” he says in this week’s podcast. “At the highest level after tough games they know how to deal with people, whereas in age groups they might be strong, but they’re much more raw. You need to hone your talent to develop as a scrummager.
“In the Championship I played against older people and some awesome scrummagers. I’ve been backwards a few times coming up against people who I’ve not known what to do against! But I’ve always tried to learn about how to fix it.
“Now I’m in the Premiership it’s about making that transition and learning with every game.”
Listen to the full interview at www.soundcloud.com/official-saints-rugby, or subscribe via iTunes.