ENGLAND boss Steve McNamara believes Chris Hill’s experiences of climbing up from the Championship has helped the 25-year-old stay grounded after a phenomenal debut year in Super League.
Hill has started both of England’s Autumn International Series wins against France and Wales, and McNamara has been hugely impressed by the young prop’s attitude during his first England camp.
“Chris has ticked all the required boxes and more, he has performed very well for us and he has been a huge plus for our programme this year,” he said.
“He had to deal with disappointment as a young man in not getting to a big club earlier on and having to work his way from the Championship.
“When you get players who have had obstacles put in their way and they have had to overcome them, everything else becomes that little bit easier.
“Chris is that sort of bloke.”
The former Bradford coach also expressed his delight in the way all of Wolves’ England representatives have acquitted themselves in the camp over the last few weeks, with Adrian Morley’s involvement particularly helpful considering the relatively young front row.
“It was important for Hill, Lee Mossop, Luke Burgess and Ben Harrison to have Adrian around, a player with a wealth of experience at international level,” said McNamara.
“We have four inexperienced front rowers there and for all of them to have Adrian around and passing on the knowledge, leading the way whether it is training or in a game, has been essential for them to develop.”
But he admitted that Stefan Ratchford’s illness has all but prevented the 24-year-old taking up a playing role in the series that culminates against France at Salford City Stadium on Sunday, kick off 5pm.
“All the players we have here are expected to be first picks for their clubs, so dealing with the problem of not being picked can be difficult for them," he said.
"Stefan has a great attitude after coming back into our senior programme and is on the edges at the minute.
"The experience will be good for him and if he gets a chance, great, but if not he’ll work hard for next year.”