Jonny Hill embracing seniority as he advises Sale Sharks youngsters on Premiership final pitfalls

·3-min read
Jonny Hill for Sale Sharks Credit: Alamy
Jonny Hill for Sale Sharks Credit: Alamy

Sale Sharks second-row Jonny Hill has urged his side to seize the moment at Twickenham as they look to claim their first Premiership title in 17 years.

Alex Sanderson’s north-west team will face a Saracens outfit that is hunting a sixth domestic title in what promises to be a pulsating final on Saturday.

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Sale last appearance came in 2006 when the likes of Jason Robinson, Mark Cueto, Richard Wigglesworth and Charlie Hodgson helped them to glory.

Fourth Premiership final for Hill

And Hill is determined to join that list of champions in what will be his fourth Premiership final after featuring for Exeter during his stint in Devon.

“I brought it up in a meeting this week that we don’t want to go there, enjoy the day and occasion, think we’ve had a really good season, let’s go and win it next year,” he told the PA news agency ahead of facing Saracens.

“You never know, we might not get there for another 17 years, so let’s make the most of this weekend. How we do that, there are ways and techniques.

“A lot of these boys have never been to Twickenham, not even as a fan, so it was important to have a look at it all on Friday so that once we rock up on Saturday we will just be focused on the rugby and putting our best forward.

“We are in uncharted territory, really. There are quite a lot of players who haven’t experienced that big game in a big arena.

“It will be very close to a Test match, if not right there. Our preparation this week has been geared towards the hardest game we will have to play.

“Sale have got a golden crop of young lads coming through, which Exeter had. I see a lot of comparisons, although this time around I am one of the older ones!”

Sale have made one enforced change from the side that beat semi-final opponents Leicester, with flanker Sam Dugdale replacing an injured Ben Curry.

Dugdale will line up alongside number eight Jono Ross, who skippers the Sharks on his final appearance before retirement, with Tom Curry at blindside.

Hill impressed by Sale youngsters

There is also a Twickenham chance for home-grown northern talent like Joe Carpenter, Arron Reed and Gus Warr, and Hill is enthused by Sale’s youth.

“Their biggest strength is that they are really relaxed – I don’t think they know what they are doing at the minute!” Hill added.

“They will look back at some point and realise how massive it was, but they are just rolling with the punches and going week to week. They don’t get ahead of themselves.

“These are the best days you are going to have at club level. When you reach a Premiership final, the environment is of course very good.

“What Al (Sanderson) has created, what the squad has created for that to come to fruition is very, very impressive.”

READ MORE: Saracens v Sale Sharks: Premiership final preview as Mark McCall’s men set to claim sixth title

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