Paul Hill hopes the change in management at Northampton brings with it the platform to revive his England career.
Hill is frustrated that having won all five of his caps as a replacement in 2016, when he was regarded as Eddie Jones’ second choice tighthead prop, he was demoted down the Saints pecking order just as he was looking to progress to the next level.
Conversations with forwards coach Dorian West left him disheartened and inevitably he was told by Jones that he could not be selected by England when performing a limited role at Franklin’s Gardens.
England vs Barbarians
May 27, 2018, 2:30pm
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But West, along with director of rugby Jim Mallinder, has left the club with Kiwi Chris Boyd taking over ahead of next season to improve Hill’s outlook as he targets selection in the Barbarians fixture at Twickenham on May 27, live on Sky Sports Action.
“A couple of years ago I thought I had a really good year for club and country,” said Hill, who admits he is “massively” looking forward to the arrival of a new coaching team.
“There are bits of my game where I felt I could have improved. I had conversations with Dorian and it was a bit frustrating because at times I felt I should have been playing and sometimes you have to deal with those frustrations.
“You get points to learn, but it’s game time that makes you a better player. When you have a few games under your belt you start to get your confidence back.
“There are knock-on effects – if you don’t get picked you don’t get better and you don’t keep your momentum going.
“Now I have had this block at the end of the season where I have played a bit more rugby and played better, and I think that is one of the reasons I am back in the fold.
“You get picked on performance and as long as I can keep up the momentum I have had at the back end of this season, things might go better for me carrying on into next year.”