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Richard Hill praises impact of Under 18 competition

27 February 2013

  • Hill praises impact of Under 18 League
  • It’s been critical to these youngsters – Hill

Richard Hill

Photo: Getty Images

Former England and British & Irish Lions flanker Richard Hill has praised the impact of the new Premiership Under 18 League on the development of young players, as the competition comes to the end of its opening season.

Hill, who now coaches the with Saracens academy, believes that the competition provides a good platform for academy players to showcase their ability in club colours.

"The Under 18 competition has been massively important and is very much a development tool," he said. "We’ve emphasised the need from the very beginning, for our players to take in the experience – it gives them the opportunity to learn and develop ideas about how they perform..

“It’s been critical to these youngsters, who all aspire to play at the top level. The more people we can develop along the way, the better.

“It gives other players the opportunity to come into a Saracens environment and play in the Saracens way and to see how they develop and get an understanding.

“Ultimately, this is about putting the best players from the fourteen regional academies against each other and test temperament as well as talent.”

World-cup winner Hill was speaking at Clifton Rugby Club in South Gloucestershire, after his Saracens Academy side’s 39-14 victory over Bristol.

The London club scored six tries to Bristol’s two, including scores for the England under 18 trio of Nathan Earle, Maro Itoje and Nick Tompkins.

The Under 18 competition, sponsored by Aviva, sees the country’s top academies compete against each other in Northern and Southern conferences.