Challenge Cup final: Warrington captain Chris Hill on plumbing and Wembley

By Nathan MiddletonBBC Sport
Chris Hill
Chris Hill has featured in every Warrington game so far this season
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday 27 August Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Humberside, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Merseyside; live text commentary on BBC Sport website.

When Chris Hill leads out Warrington Wolves in Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Hull FC at Wembley, it will be one of two things that he can celebrate this week.

It is also the one-year anniversary of his plumbing business.

England prop Hill, one of the most destructive forwards in rugby league, combines his skipper duties at Wire with running Premier Plumbing Ltd.

"It was just something I've always been interested in stemming back from school," the 28-year-old told BBC Sport.

"It is something for after rugby as well and hopefully it is running itself by then and I can sit back and relax. If not, I can get on the tools and work through it."

'It can take your mind off rugby league'

Chris Hill
Chris Hill has been a regular in the England squad since his international debut in 2012

Hill approached player welfare manager Karl Fitzpatrick about the possibility of learning the trade and he started on a three-year course around his training and game commitments.

He runs the company with partner Christian Froggat, who he met while on his training. Froggat does the manual labour, Hill runs the administration side and they both go out doing quotes on free evenings.

"Christian takes the mick sometimes as he says my tools have still got the wrapper on," Hill joked.

With training only taking up a minority of the day, Hill generally has afternoons and evenings to himself.

Asked what Warrington coach Tony Smith thinks of his job, Hill added: "He thinks it is a good idea as it can take your mind off rugby league as well, which tends to make you a better player.

"I couldn't recommend it highly enough as it lets you concentrate on something else. And as funny as it sounds, it lets you concentrate on rugby as well."

Asked if it makes him look forward to playing even more, Hill said: "Definitely. It gives you life skills as well in dealing with all kinds of people."

Wembley word was banned

Stefan Ratchford and Chris Hill
Chris Hill (right) celebrates winning the 2012 Challenge Cup final with Stefan Ratchford

When Hill moved to Warrington from Leigh for the start of the 2012 season, he could not have envisaged a more perfect campaign.

Wolves won the Challenge Cup for the third time in four years and he was crowned the club's player of the season, the players' player of the season award and also won the Vice President's award in a clean sweep at Warrington's awards night.

It has not been quite as rewarding since, as that trophy is the last that Warrington have won, but Hill is focused on making this visit to Wembley a winning one.

"I banned the Wembley word last week," he told BBC Radio Merseyside. "All we found out about was what my wife is going to wear down there.

"My eldest will be walking out with me aged seven so he's buzzing. Everyone in my house has been sorting their travel arrangements, but I just keep out of it."

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