Autumn Nations Series: Jonny Hill relishes tough England camps under Eddie Jones | Rugby Union News

Head coach Jones’ methods have come in for criticism recently, but Exeter second row Hill believes the demands placed on the squad by him are essential for competing at Test level; “You’re playing against the best countries in the world and it’s not supposed to be a breeze,” Hill said

Last Updated: 01/11/21 4:53pm

Jonny Hill has backed Eddie Jones' approach during England camps

Jonny Hill has backed Eddie Jones’ approach during England camps

Jonny Hill welcomes the demands made by Eddie Jones during England’s camp in the belief it is essential in coping with the rigours of Test rugby.

Jones’ coaching style came under attack last week when a newspaper report published a number of accounts from players and former staff members, painting a picture of a brutal regime.

England’s head coach has since defended his methods and Hill, one of the nation’s leading locks who will be involved in the looming Autumn Nations Series, insists it is the only way to be ready for the physicality of the sport’s highest level.

“When I first started playing rugby professionally, I thought: ‘This is hard’,” Hill said. “But now you realise things need to be hard for you to get better. If it’s not hard, what’s the point?

“I’ve loved it here. I’ve made friends with people I never thought I’d make friends with. I’ve got mates here who I’ll keep in contact with for a very long time. The on the pitch stuff… it’s difficult but we’re preparing for war. In international rugby, you need to be ready to go.

“I sat and watched the Wales versus All Blacks game on Saturday, and you saw how many good players came off knackered. You’re playing against the best countries in the world and it’s not supposed to be a breeze.

“It’s a really good learning environment. The man I am today compared to the man I was a year ago… I’m a way better player. I’m thankful for the environment – I love it.”

Lynagh added to England squad ahead of Tonga clash

England have added Harlequins wing Louis Lynagh to their squad for the Autumn Nations Series that opens against Tonga on Saturday.

England are continuing preparations for Saturday’s autumn opener against Tonga at Twickenham as Jones launches a new era, having named a youthful squad for a series that also includes fixtures against Australia and South Africa.

Exeter forward Hill is determined to make an impact following a summer of mixed emotions in which the elation of being selected for the Lions tour to South Africa was offset by his spectator role for the Test series.

A period of soul-searching followed, and the 27-year-old second row has said that the time is now if his international career is to advance.

“I went on the tour to get a Test cap and I fell short which was really disappointing for me, and then we didn’t get to win the series,” said Hill, who won the first of his nine caps to date against Italy a year ago.

Jonny Hill toured with the Lions, but did not win a Test cap in South Africa

Jonny Hill toured with the Lions, but did not win a Test cap in South Africa

“My club form wasn’t as good as it could have been at the end of last season. I had a clean slate when I flew to South Africa. I played in three warm-up matches and thought I’d played well and had done enough, but obviously I hadn’t.

“I had a good rest afterwards and I realised that my time is now on the international stage. If I get an opportunity this autumn, I have to take it with both hands. I’m 27 now and not a 22 or 24-year-old who has just come on to the scene.

“The first time I came into England camp it was like the first day at school, but now it’s more like half-term. I want to be one of the best locks in the world. Now I’m trying to be present in the game all the time, making sure I’m not dipping in and out. I want to have constant actions.”

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