Saints prop Paul Hill says that he relishes any game time he gets for England having helped his country secure a 3-0 series whitewash over the Wallabies at the weekend.
Speaking to The Rugby Paper, Hill said: “I’m relishing my time on the pitch.
“I’ve really enjoyed every time I’ve got on so far. I thought we did well when we came on as the front three (with Matt Mullan and Jamie George in the 2nd Test in Melbourne).”
So far, Hill has won five caps for England, with each of his appearances seeing him come off the bench, and recognises the importance of a substitute’s role in Test match rugby.
“You’re watching the game constantly and trying to pick up small things going on in the scrum. You try to analyse when you’re on the bench; it’s not like you’re going on completely cold.
“You do your appropriate physical warm up and then you’re picking up small things so when you get on you use that time (spent) on the bench.”
It has been a rapid rise for Hill in the past year. The last twelve months have seen him go from Championship player to Grand Slam winner, and most recently, a member of an England squad that made history Down Under.
Hill started his rugby career playing for Otley before moving to the Championship with Yorkshire Carnegie, and he says that the step up requires players to learn and adapt quickly to the increased physicality.
“That (change in “man strength”) was most relevant when I stepped up from age group stuff to when I was in the Championship,” said Hill. “You have to learn fast, especially when you’re trying to climb the ranks.
“When I started out I was in National League 2 North with Otley, and then I came up to the Championship with Leeds and then the Premiership with Northampton. Now I’m playing in Test match rugby!”