Paul Hill says he was lost for words after receiving his call-up to the full England squad.
The former Hayfield School pupil was named in new head coach Eddie Jones’ initial 33-man squad for the Six Nations last week.
Aged just 20, Hill’s international call caps a meteoric rise to prominence. He is one of seven uncapped players in Jones’ first squad.
“Initially I was speechless,” said Hill.
“I had no idea and was genuinely lost for words. I think I just said ‘thanks very much’!
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow! This is it’. I haven’t stopped smiling since.”
Hill was born in Germany but his father is English and he was raised in Doncaster.
He first played rugby for the Doncaster Knights Under 7 team before joining Yorkshire Carnegie’s academy.
After signing for Northampton Saints last April, Hill has enjoyed an outstanding debut season in the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup.
The tight-head prop has represented England at several junior levels and was part of the England U20s team that won the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship.
“I guess it’s come pretty thick and fast but I’ve been pleased with how I’ve coped with it,” said Hills, on his fast track to the top.
“I’ve just tried to go with the flow.
“The hard work starts now though.
“I’m just going to keep my head down and focus on what’s coming up with the Saints.
“We’ve got a big few weeks.
“That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to it [meeting up with England], but I won’t be overdoing the celebrations.”
England start their Six Nations campaign against Scotland, at Murrayfield, on Saturday, February 6.