No pressure for England's Hill
Veteran prop Chris Hill isn't feeling the pinch of expectations faced by England as they gear up for a three-Test series against the Kiwis beginning this weekend.
With a 3-0 clean sweep of the injury-depleted Kiwis enough for England to jump ahead of Australia in the rugby league world rankings Hill isn't stressing over external factors, rather he wants to see his team build upon their combinations leading into the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.
"I think whoever England moves forward with will always be a competitive side. We have the luxury of when people bow out of the team we have someone just as good coming in," Hill told NRL.com.
"There's no pressure to be the number one side or whatever, we just need to become stronger as we head towards playing in the World Cup."
An 84-4 demolition job of France last weekend was timely for Hill as coach Steve McNamara's men gathered plenty of momentum about them.
"We were able to knock a few cobwebs off after having four weeks off. I think we took a lot of confidence out of it," he said.
"We were able to build on combinations especially with Gaz [Gareth Widdop] and up front with Jammer [James Graham] and that but hopefully we can keep doing that this weekend."
Hill's story is one of persistence, not unlike England's journey to the World Cup, where he carved himself a name for Championship side Leigh Centurions.
Managing a seven-season career at Leigh, Hill – who also worked as a fitness instructor before being called up to the big time at powerhouse side Warrington – offered this advice.
"Never give up on what you want to achieve. I arrived at Warrington when I was 24 and I suppose I just never gave up," he said. "There's always someone out there who will pick you up so never give up."
Since then Hill has played 12 Tests for England and almost 100 games for the Wolves – where he plays alongside Ashton Sims, Chris Sandow and soon-to-be teammates in former Newcastle captain Kurt Gidley, former Bronco Mitchell Dodds and England international Joe Westerman.