“A leader on and off the field” – Mike Cooper on Chris Hill ahead of testimonial match

Drew Darbyshire

Mike Cooper has paid a glowing tribute to Chris Hill ahead of his testimonial match this Thursday.

Great Britain and England international Hill is celebrating his testimonial year in 2021, with his match coming this Thursday against Leigh at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Cooper has partnered Hill in Warrington’s front-row for several years now, and says Hill is one of the best British front-rowers of the summer era.

Cooper told The Final Hooter podcast: “He is, without question, a leader on and off the field – that is in rugby league, in his business and with his family as well.

“You will all see the shape that he is in. It is the best shape he has ever been in and that’s someone who was taken out of the England squad, who took themselves away from the captaincy and what has he gone and done? He has come back in the best shape he has ever been in and is absolutely flying and that just shows you the man he is.

“He is one of my best mates, it is a pleasure to play alongside him every single week and he deserve everything he gets with his testimonial.

“Not only is he one of the best British front-rowers I think in the Super League era, he is definitely in the top two or three. He has been up there in the world as one of the best front-rowers for a long time but I think it is his off-field stuff which is more important.”

Warrington forward Joe Philbin has also paid tribute to Hill, who he has played alongside since he broke into the first team back in 2014.

Philbin said: “I feel very blessed as a young front-rower coming through to have had Chris and Mike to look up to.

“He’s a leader who leads by his actions. He’ll be the first to put his hand up to take the tough carries and he’s a great fella as well. I just class myself as lucky to come through to that tutorship of so many great front-rowers, with Hilly being one of the main ones.”

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