Changing room banter on hold as Chiefs prepare to face off in Calcutta Cup clash

England second-row Jonny Hill says he loves winding up Scottish club-mates Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg but has kept his distance this week

England second-row Jonny Hill likes noising up Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray at Exeter Chiefs, but has kept his distance this week. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
England second-row Jonny Hill likes noising up Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray at Exeter Chiefs, but has kept his distance this week. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

ENGLAND second-row Jonny Hill says he loves noising up Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg when they are training and playing together at Exeter Chiefs, but he has given the Scottish pair a wide berth in the lead up to tomorrow’s Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.

“Nothing this week,” he replied, when asked if there had been any contact between the clubmates. “We spoke weeks previously but it’s gone radio silent this week.

“I’m pretty laid back, but I know that Stuart and Jonny are a little … they are very, very … they can get a bit edgy towards the weekend,” he added. “It will be nice to catch up with them after the game but I’m just concentrating on my performance.


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“I just keep it natural, to be honest. If I need to do something or eat something, I just do it. But I think Jonny, especially, can be a little bit superstitious, so he’s a little bit different to me.

“I’ve seen him strap his legs three times before going out to warm-up – he’ll put it on, look at it, and he’ll take it off and do it again. Now, that is not right, is it, really?

“Stuart, I’ll go past his bag and turn everything in there upside down just to get under his skin a little bit.

“It’s Louis Vuitton washbags, Gucci glasses, he’s a very flash guy considering he’s a farmer boy from Scotland.”

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Despite clearly enjoying the inter-club banter at Exeter, Hill says that he has not been tempted to stir the pot this week.

“I think there’s a line between being in the club and having a joke about it but then I want to put my best foot forward for my country and likewise them for Scotland,” he explained.

“So, I’ll enjoy catching up with them after the game. I don’t think we’re allowed to swap shirts at the moment so maybe do that later down the line.”

“They’re not that intense,” he concluded. “I just know what they’ll be like leading up to the game. Exeter as a club, we’re quite relaxed and quite jovial around the place, also if anyone shows weakness they get pounced upon.

“Jonny Gray is quite a quiet fellow, to be honest. I have a really working relationship with him. He’s got the best out of me, for sure, and I like to think I’ve helped him improve as a player as well. I enjoy playing alongside him and I’ll relish playing against him tomorrow.”


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About David Barnes 2993 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.