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Richard Hill (flanker)

From Academic Kids

Richard Hill MBE (born in Surrey 23 May 1973) is a rugby union footballer who plays at flanker for Saracens and England. His namesake had previously gained caps at scrum half.

Coincidentally, Hill attended Bishop Wordsworth's Grammar School in Salisbury, as did the other Richard Hill. He went on to gain early prominence as a school's international.

Hill made his England debut in the 1997 Five Nations Championship against Scotland, playing at openside flanker. He was selected ahead of Neil Back, who was controversially ignored by the England team for that period. He toured South Africa with the British Lions in the summer of 1997, gaining two caps.

Under new coach Clive Woodward, Hill was initially selected at openside but was moved to blindside flanker to accommodate Back on the openside flank, Lawrence Dallaglio moving from blindside to number eight. It was in this position in the famous back-row that Hill gained most of his caps. He is known for being very much the grey man, almost invisible on the pitch, but statistics show that he is one of the most important contributors to the back row when he was missing with injury.

He was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side. Since Back's retirement in 2003, Hill has switched back to openside. He is the only player never to have been dropped during Sir Clive Woodward's England tenure, due to his prolific work in the rucks and mauls.

Hill injured his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a match against London Irish on 3 October 2004, and underwent surgery on October 6, 2004, was out for about six months, but returned to be named in a Lions touring squad for the third time in 2005.

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