Prop Hill hands Saints big injury boost

Paul Hill is close to making his first Saints appearance of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Paul Hill is close to making his first Saints appearance of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Saints have been handed a welcome injury boost with Paul Hill close to making his first appearance of the season.

Hill has not been able to play a single minute during the current campaign and also missed all three pre-season fixtures.

The 23-year-old required surgery to remove a cyst from his shoulder and he has been working his way back to fitness ever since.

And it looks like Hill is now ready to return, having been in full training ahead of Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup clash with Wasps.

"Hilly has just been through his second live unit session this morning," said Saints assistant coach Matt Ferguson at Wednesday's media session.

"He's full of enthusiasm and worked really hard on his strength and conditioning while he's been out.

"He's a quality player to add to the mix and he will take some of the pressure off those tightheads.

"We spent a huge amount of time in the gym pretending to scrum over the past three months and getting him out on the grass is where you can really see his ability.

"With some tweaks and developments, he can really push on to realise the potential he had when he came through the system."

But the news on another tighthead, Jamal Ford-Robinson, is not so good.

Ford-Robinson sustained a knee injury in the Wanderers' defeat at Newcastle on October 1 and although he will not require surgery, he will not be back for some time.

"Jamal is slightly further behind in terms of his injury," Ferguson said.

"It's not involved any surgical intervention yet but he's one we class as long-term at the moment."