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Johann van Graan lauds Ted Hill following return from injury

Bath Rugby’s Head of Rugby Johann van Graan has piled praise on back-rower Ted Hill following his return to full fitness. 

The English forward picked up a serious leg injury in Bath’s opening Premiership game of the season against Newcastle Falcons, and only made his return to action in March.

Since his return, he has quickly re-established his form and cemented a spot in Bath’s starting XV.

“He’s gone through a lot,” van Graan told Rugby Nause News. “You sometimes forget how young he still is.”

He added: “He had to go through the injury against Newcastle in round one and fought his way back, but he’s a class player. The thing about Ted is he works on his body and he works on his game. He’s a natural leader and he’ll play many games for Bath in years to come. I’m very pleased to have him back in the team.”

Hill joined Bath last season following the collapse of Worcester Warriors alongside the likes of Ollie Lawrence, and van Graan detailed just how quickly he has become part of the fabric of the club.

“It’s amazing how quickly life moves on. It’s more or less 15 months ago since Worcester went down. It feels like he’s been here forever. He was a big difference last year, together with Ollie (Lawrence) joining, and Fergus Lee-Warner joining, and he’s just become part of our team.”

Hill has again proved to be one of the best flankers in the Premiership this season, could he see a return to the England set-up soon?

Johann van Graan details pleasing selection headaches in the back-row

Bath Rugby back-rowers Alfie Barbeary and Miles Reid-Credit: IMAGO

Ted Hill isn’t the only back-rower firing on all cylinders at the Rec this year. Sam Underhill is back to his best, Miles Reid has again had a very solid season and Josh Bayliss is also playing some god rugby following his return to full fitness.

This high level of competition in the back-row is something van Graan relishes, and he told Rugby Nause News it’s a pleasing selection headache to have.

“Flanker is the position where you get the most amount of injuries. Ted was out for three quarters of the season, Josh Bayliss was out for half of the season, Sam Underhill was away on international duty; but now it’s brilliant to have selection options available, and also players that can play in multiple positions.”

He also detailed how much the players bring out in each other at training: “One of the biggest positives from our club over the last 21 months is the competition and training. We’re having three teams training with each other to try and get each other better.”

“It’s a good headache to have. Ultimately, you can only pick 15 and another 8; but I’d much rather be in that position than the position when I joined the club when we had 16 long-term injuries and you don’t know who you’re going to pick. It’s a great position for me to be in.”