England's Hill set for acid test against Wales captain Jones

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England lock Jonny Hill is 'really looking forward' to facing Wales veteran Alun Wyn Jones

England lock Jonny Hill is relishing the prospect of facing one of the best second rows in the game when he confronts Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in Saturday's Six Nations clash in Cardiff.

It will be the third time Hill, an English and European double-winner with club side Exeter last season, has gone up against Jones, international rugby union's most-capped player.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge of playing against him," the 26-year-old Hill told a conference call on Friday.

"He's a player who has given an awful lot to the game.

"He's been brilliant for rugby as a whole and for rugby in Wales. He's single-handedly won games for Wales over the years.

"As a second row he's an all-rounder," explained Hill, who will be packing down alongside Maro Itoje.

"He handles the ball really well, he can carry, he's a good line-out operator, great in the maul. He's a good scrummaging second row also.

"There aren't many faults in his game hence why he has 150-odd caps," added Hill ahead of a match where a win for reigning champions England would maintain their hopes of a successful title defence and scupper Welsh dreams of a Triple Crown.

Jones, who has played 145 Tests for Wales and nine for the British and Irish Lions, is also capable of winding up opponents, something England found to their cost when Kyle Sinckler was successfully targeted during Wales' win two years ago in Cardiff.

But the laid-back Hill, who will be winning just his seventh cap this weekend, said: "That sort of thing doesn't really phase me. Being the character I am, I'll just crack on and he can do whatever he wants. I'll just keep playing.

"Players may have tried to wind me up, but I'm not aware of it. Sometimes I'm so tired or so focused that I don't notice or it doesn't affect me."

Hill needs no reminding of the passions generated by a fixture between the border rivals with his girlfriend, Sarah Llewelyn, having represented Wales at netball, most recently at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"I spoke to her last (Thursday) night and she's fully supporting me this weekend, thankfully," he said.

"It's not too bad. She's very, very supportive of me to be fair. Her dad is a little bit different. He's a bit harder to persuade."

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