WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Jonny Hill says George Kruis has earned his Twickenham send-off for the Barbarians against England

Jonny Hill says George Cross deserves the farewell he will deserve in his last game for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham…

  • George Kruis will play his last game before retirement at Twickenham on Sunday
  • The ex-England lock overlooks his native land as part of the Barbarians team
  • Jonny Hill admits he’s ‘honoured’ to take on a player who inspired him
  • Hill is delighted to return after a ‘really frustrating’ absence due to a stress fracture

Jonny Hill spent the years before his international debut in awe watching former England lock George Cross, so it will be a special moment for him when the pair go head to head on Sunday.

Cross will play his last game before retiring for the Barbarians against his native country and will pack opposite Hill – the man who filled his void when Japan came to call.

Hill’s England debut came in October 2020 and just a few months after Cross dropped out of Test rugby to move to the Far East. Last year he followed in the footsteps of Kruis by becoming a British & Irish Lion.

Jonny Hill (right) prepares to take on the Barbarians as they face England at Twickenham

Jonny Hill (right) prepares to take on the Barbarians as they face England at Twickenham

Hill was a great admirer of Castle George Kruis, who will retire after the game

Hill was a great admirer of Castle George Kruis, who will retire after the game

“I think George deserves the farewell he’s going to get,” said Hill, who is now fit for England after missing the Six Nations with a stress fracture.

“He has given England so much and I am honored to have played in his last game because I looked up to him when he was playing. He was a very good operator.’

Hill is no mug himself and the giant Sale-bound forward was a big miss for England head coach Eddie Jones at the start of the year. Without Hill, England won just two Six Nations matches.

“To miss a campaign is really frustrating and there were some dark nights to be honest,” Hill said. “Personally, I haven’t played in a while, so I’m really excited to be back.

Kruis played for England before retiring from Test rugby in 2020, heading to the Far East

Kruis played for England before retiring from Test rugby in 2020, heading to the Far East

“I can’t wait to play rugby. When it’s five or eighty minutes, I’ll grab everything I can.’

Hill’s return to England will not be the easiest. A Barbarians second-row pair of Kruis and La Rochelle’s Champions Cup winner Will Skelton is a formidable one.

A fully fit Hill will almost certainly be on the plane from England to Australia this week, after using his time on the sidelines to prepare for a switch from Exeter to Sale for next season.

“To be honest, I’ve been in need of a change for a while,” he said. ‘I want to get the best out of myself and I have the feeling that a new environment is going to do that.

“It was really awful, really, really hard (to leave Exeter).

“I feel like I’m letting my family down a bit. It was a similar feeling when I left home at 16 and went to Hartpury College.

“I stood up in front of the boys and couldn’t speak. I barely spoke, I just cried.’

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More