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Josh Hill Seizing Opportunity with Rebels

Tue, 17/05/2022, 7:23 am
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

For Rebels starting lock Josh Hill, 2022 has been an unforgettable year in his rugby journey.

Fresh off playing club rugby for Otago in the National Provincial Championship (NPC), Hill

journeyed to Melbourne in February as injury cover, before surprisingly making his professional debut in the Rebels’ Round 3 clash against the Fijian Drua.

The twenty-three-year-old has since gone on to play 7 senior matches in his debut Super Rugby season, including back-to-back wins against the Drua and the Western Force.

Rebels Media caught up with the popular rookie following his third match against New Zealand opposition.

So close to knocking off the Chiefs on Sunday, what’s the mood of the team been like today?

JH: Yeah, it certainly felt like it was one that got away, going down at the very last minute was tough. At the same time, we came a long way as a team in just the space of a week. After such a tough game the week before, we put ourselves in a position where we almost took home the win, so while it hurts, we do look at the positives and the growth we’ve made as a team in just a week.

Knowing that you can go head-to-head with a Top 4 side like the Chiefs, does that instil a confidence in the playing group?

JH: We got great confidence in our game – our systems are working, and we are very close taking down a top four team. We’ll just keep carrying on in these final few games and look to finish the season strong.

Being in the Super Rugby system for a few months and having the opportunity to pick the brains of Matt Philip and Rob Leota, how have you found that experience?

JH: It’s been great exposure for me to be learning under them. They’re all great dudes and when I first got here, they were all super inviting and made me feel part of the team. They’ve been big helping me with my consistency week in, week out. It’s a tough game Super Rugby, so you just need to be able to stay at the level every week.

How have you viewed your development since arriving at the Club in February, to now being a consistent starter for the Melbourne Rebels?

JH: It’s been a really memorable experience for me. It’s been a good wake up to the standard that’s required at this level and getting to know my teammates and playing in such a great city has been awesome.

As I’ve grown, I’ve set higher standards for myself and I feel I’ve gotten better tactically and become more aware of how we want to play, which has been awesome.

What can you take out of last week’s game and use to focus on Saturday night’s game against the Hurricanes?

JH: For us it’s just got to be a full eighty-minute performance. We started strong against the Chiefs, but then let them back in so we need to build on that. There’s still that belief that we can knock off the Hurricanes and set ourselves up for a winner-takes-all clash with the Highlanders next week. We’re full of belief and determined to finish the season strong.