Exeter’s double-winning lock Jonny Hill will make his England debut in Saturday’s Six Nations match against Italy in Rome.

From the Exeter Chiefs website:

When his college application fell apart Jonny Hill was forced into an unexpected gap year – but it proved a vital step to an unlikely rugby career.

Hill had tried his hand at rugby in his youth – he joined local club Luctonians at nine – but football soon took over.

However, at the end of his time at Ludlow School, Hill renewed his interest in the sport – just in time for what was to follow. His application for Worcester College fell through and he had to take a year out.

Determined to keep busy and encouraged by colts coach Simon Green-Price, Hill returned to Luctonians. Following some encouraging performances, the 17-year-old was encouraged by Green-Price to turn up to a walk-up trial at nearby Hartpury College.

Hill was an instant hit and within a few months he was a first-team regular at the National League Two South side and on Gloucester’s radar.

He spent two seasons playing with Hartpury College and also had two run-outs for Gloucester in the LV= Cup. His form also brought him into the England Under-20s set-up, where he featured twice until an ankle injury brought his career to a halt.

With his contract at Kingsholm drawing to a close, the Ludlow-born youngster switched his attentions to Devon to further his career. Already known to forwards coach Rob Hunter, Hill quickly settled into his new surroundings at Sandy Park and made his first team debut in January 2016, coming off the bench against his former club.

Hard working around the field and an outstanding line-out forward, a bright future lies ahead for Hill, who during the summer was rewarded with his form last season by being called into Eddie Jones’ England squad for their summer tour of South Africa.

Photo Credit: Exeter Chiefs