Saints prop Hill hoping to maintain his momentum

Paul Hill starred in Saints' win at Leicester last month (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Paul Hill starred in Saints' win at Leicester last month (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Paul Hill is preparing to hit the ground running at Saints next season.

The prop started two of the final three games of the previous campaign, having made his first appearance in the first 15 since November when Saints won at Leicester in April.

Hill excelled in that Welford Road success and kept his place for the clash with Wasps before Kieran Brookes took over for the final-day fixture against Worcester Warriors.

Hill made an appearance off the bench in that match and this week headed to Brighton to join England's training camp ahead of the battle with the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 27.

He is now looking forward to a fresh start at Saints under new boss Chris Boyd, who will arrive at Franklin's Gardens this summer.

And Hill, who moved to Saints from Yorkshire Carnegie in 2015, said: “I came in a couple of years ago and I thought I had a really good year for club and country.

“There were a mixture of things. First of all I wasn’t getting the game time at Northampton and (England boss) Eddie (Jones) said to me ‘I can’t pick you if you’re not playing enough.’

“It has been a bit on and off in terms of performances and game time and now I’ve had this block at the end of the season where I’ve started playing a bit more rugby and Saints have played better, I think that’s one of the reasons I’m back in the fold.

“You’re picked on performance and as long as I can keep up the momentum I’ve had at the back end of this season, things might be going better for me carrying on to next year as well.”

Hill has been well aware of what he has needed to improve on to win his place back for Saints and England.

And the 23-year-old said: "I wouldn’t say I've had regular contact (with England) but I’ve been contacted as the year has gone on.

“They’re very honest about that and I’ve always had good contact with them, they’re always talking about what I need to be doing on and off the pitch to become a better player.

“It’s massive to build your confidence and know that although things might not be going perfectly there’s a watchful eye always there.”