Hill's having so much fun at Saints

Paul Hill is having plenty of fun at Saints right now - and he wants that to continue this weekend.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:01 pm
Paul Hill

The prop became a social media star with his incredible recent cameo against Worcester Warriors at Sixways.

Hill was running all sorts of lines, making metres galore and steamrollering opposition players with relentless abandon.

It gave him plenty more clips for his highlight reel, with fans loving the fact their tighthead prop showed such flair.

And ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to Ulster Hill said: "It was a lot of free-flowing rugby against Worcester and sometimes you've just got to take opportunities when they come.

"It's not like the chip and chase we did was called, I just looked across and I was running a line, which was seen and it just happened to come off. It was one of those freak scenarios.

"I actually caught it and it was a lucky thing.

"It was a really fun game to play in and we were clinical in that second half."

Hill has certainly added more strings to his bow since arriving at Saints from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2015.

He said: "You go up and down. When I first came, it was all about free-flowing stuff and then everyone goes 'you need to sort your scrum out' and then it's like I don't do anything but scrum for a few years.

"But when you've got that sorted you can start doing a bit more playing and I'm glad to be in a position where we're scrummaging well because it frees you up more in the outfield.

"You can take risks a bit more and you don't have to be worried about just focusing on one job.

"When you've got the scrum sorted as a team, it gives the players more confidence to do everything else well."

Hill, who recently signed a new deal at Saints, admits he has indulged in watching his key moments against Worcester back.

"I have," he said. "It was good and it's something I've been trying to work on recently, hitting those lines off 10.

"When we announced my contract, which was the day before April Fools, I said it would be funny to announce that I was going on loan to Hurricanes to play at 12 for five weeks, but Boydy put a stop to that idea!"

Hill has loved the social media appreciation for his efforts.

He said: "You have to take it for what it is and people are just appreciating it.

"For a tighthead to do anything remotely impressive like running a few metres, people just absolutely love it because it happens so infrequently.

"It is good when you see people tweeting you but you can't get ahead of yourself and think you're the world's best player all of a sudden, but it was a good laugh.

"Interacting with people was funny."

Hill always wanted to stay on at Saints, surrounded by a hungry group of players desperate to bring silverware back to Franklin's Gardens.

"It's a place where you can feel the people around you and when you know you've got other lads who are a similar age to me, who want to stay, it's good," said the 26-year-old.

"You want to build a team around people who want to get better and who want results and who want silverware.

"When you've got young lads like Davo (Ribbans), Luds (Lewis Ludlam), Biggs (Dan Biggar) and loads of lads who you'd back every single time you play, it makes it a really positive environment to be in.

"We want to get better and we want to put silverware in the trophy cabinet and you need to have people around you who are pushing for the same goal.

"I'm glad to stay and happy with how I'm going at the moment."

Hill's full focus is now on the immediate future as a talented Ulster team come calling at the Gardens on Saturday night, fresh from beating Harlequins 57-21 last weekend.

"Having watched their game last Sunday, they are a strong side, but we didn't play our best at Dragons and we pulled it back," said Hill, who was rested for the game at Rodney Parade last Saturday.

"We had some individual brilliance from the likes of Tei (Harrison) and Alex (Mitchell) and that sorted it out for us.

"But this is a game where everyone has to be on the ball and we've talked about building the pressure during the week.

"This is knockout rugby and this isn't a case of building for a few weeks and looking at a month's plan - every second of the whole game counts.

"You can't switch off, especially against a team this organised."