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Hill still upbeat about life at Northampton Saints


Northampton Saints are facing the prospect of finishing outside the top four for the first time since 2009, but prop Paul Hill insists doing so would not be a disaster.

Saints, Aviva Premiership Rugby champions in 2014, head into the penultimate round of action in sixth spot, seven points behind fourth-placed Leicester Tigers.

Victories over Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby, as well as a favourable set of results elsewhere, are required if the Saints are to have a semi-final to look forward to.

But, should they fall short, England international front row Hill expects them to quickly recover.

And, with a chance to ensure they are playing in the top tier of European rugby next term still an incentive, Hill expects a strong finish.

“We are in a difficult position and the lads are annoyed about that. But what’s done is done, we can’t change anything about the last game,” said the 21-year-old.

“There is not much point in us looking back on games and dwelling, it’s important to look forwards.

“Finishing in the top four is out of our hands now and all we can do is hope for the best. But I wouldn’t call that a disaster.

“We can still secure a top-six position and that has its own prize. As long as you can learn from your mistakes, that’s what is important.”

Conceivably Saints could run out in front of their own fans for the final time this season tomorrow.

Three of their 10 Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats have come at Franklin’s Gardens this season, including to rivals Leicester Tigers last time out.

But with ninth-placed Bath tomorrow’s challengers, Hill is confident his team can go out with a bang.

“It’s potentially our final match at Franklin’s Gardens this season and it will be important for the fans to see us win,” he added.

“Bath had a slow start winning three of their first 10, but they have turned things around.

“They have got a strong forward line and are always a massive threat.”

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