Chim Gale, Manager of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, believes that Ted Hill’s inclusion in England’s squad for Saturday’s Quilter International against Japan at Twickenham is a boost for rugby across the region.
Hill, 19, has been named as a replacement for Saturday’s match and if he does make his international debut it means he will have gone from Gallagher Premiership debutant to England international inside two months.
Hill made his Premiership debut as a replacement against Leicester Tigers on September 23 and has so far started only one match – against Exeter – in England’s top flight competition.
Hill is still a member of the Warriors Academy where his progress has been followed closely by Gale who first spotted him playing in a Worcestershire county trial at Redditch as a 14-year-old.
“Watching his progress from that evening to where he is now has been a fantastic journey for Ted and his family,” Gale said.
“The biggest thing that impressed me about Ted was just how hard he worked. He was a little unsure of himself until an Under-16s match against Saracens at Under-16s where we really saw him kick on a move forward.
“You can only say that is progress is testament to his hard work but the guys that are in the academy with him here are also very serious about what they do and they have pushed on.
“When you look at the coaching Ted has had right the way through from Malvern rugby club, to the AASE programme with Ryan Watkins for two years and then to Gordon Ross and Mike Hill with our Under-18s it’s not really too much of a surprise that he is in the national set up but we didn’t think it would be this early.
“It’s a massive boost for all the coaches around the region who get involved in our Developing Players Programme and all the guys in junior club rugby around North Midlands. It shows that there are kids in our region who can achieve what Ted has in such a short space of time.
“It might take others longer but there are definitely players out there who can do something similar. This just makes us all want to work that bit harder and those long cold evenings easier to stomach.
“There are some fantastic coaches across the region at independent schools, state schools, clubs. the whole lot. What it does go to show is that you need somebody who cares about the young individuals they are coaching and who can steer and guide them into playing the sport that we all love and enjoy.”
Hill attended River School – a non-rugby-playing school – and developed his rugby at the Malvern club where his father Vince, a former Middlesex county lock, was captain. Hill later attended Worcester Sixth Form College where he played alongside his elder brother Max, an England Counties Under-18s international back-row forward who now plays for Loughborough Students.