Prop Hill 'almost in tears' after starring in Saints' win at Welford Road

Paul Hill was hugely impressive for Saints as he made his first start since November 4 (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Paul Hill was hugely impressive for Saints as he made his first start since November 4 (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Paul Hill admitted he was close to tears after starring in Saints' superb 27-21 win at Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

The prop had an outpouring of emotion after helping his team to secure their first victory at Welford Road since February 2007.

Hill had not started a Saints game since the Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat at Exeter Chiefs on November 4 after falling out of favour.

But with Kieran Brookes and Jamal Ford-Robinson injured, he was handed a starting chance against Tigers.

And he grabbed it with both hands, delivering a gargantuan 66-minute performance.

"It was amazing - I couldn't have asked for more from my team-mates," Hill said.

"I was pretty emotional when we won. Stephen Myler came up to me and I was almost in tears. I was just so happy.

"With the history of the club, not winning here for 11 years, it adds to it and it's a stepping stone for us into the rest of this season and pushing on to next year as well.

"It shows great potential for the players around me."

Hill, who joined Saints from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2015, has started just four games in total this season.

"It's been tough," said the 23-year-old, who is contracted to Saints until the summer of 2019.

"Rugby's a tough game and you're always fighting for selection.

"I had to use this opportunity, I couldn't waste it, I had to show everything I've got on the pitch.

"I was absolutely knackered - I hadn't played for what felt like years - so when I came in at half-time, I was puffing and panting.

"I kept looking at the clock at the end of the first half, thinking 'when's this over?' - I needed a break, but it was honestly amazing.

"I couldn't have enjoyed the game more."