Northampton Saints have announced the signing of England U20 tight-head prop Paul Hill for next season.
Although still just 20 years of age, Hill, who joins the Saints from Yorkshire Carnegie, is regarded as one of the most promising forwards to have come through England’s age group teams.
A Junior World Championship winner in 2014, Hill started four of England’s five matches in their recent Six Nations-winning campaign, including the Championship decider against France in Brighton. These appearances were just the latest in Hill’s progression through the England U16, U17 and U18 age groups.
At club level Hill has been a regular in Yorkshire Carnegie’s Championship campaign, playing 16 times in all competitions this season alone.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes that Hill has the ability to step up to Premiership level.
“Paul is a tremendous prospect," said Mallinder.
“Over the past couple of years he has developed quickly, becoming a regular in the successful England U20 team and for Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship. This is a tough league to play in, and he will have learned a lot playing against some experienced players.
“We believe that he has the ability to make the next step up in his career, and – given the huge interest he attracted from the Premiership’s top clubs – we are delighted the he has chosen to take that step with the Saints.”
"I'm looking forward to challenging myself at one of the top clubs in Europe and learning from experienced international players,” said Hill.
"It's an exciting time for me and I can't wait to work hard and continue developing.
"I would also like to thank everyone at Yorkshire for the help and support they've given me over the years."