Eddie Jones backs Ellis Genge for leadership role with England


Eddie Jones has backed Ellis Genge to take on a leadership role with England after his impressive performances for Leicester Tigers in recent weeks.

Genge will be one of the most experienced players in an England squad that will take on the USA and Canada next month, as 12 English internationals have been selected for the British and Irish Lions.

England head coach Jones named 21 uncapped players in a 34-man training squad for this week, and indicated to The Independent that he is looking at Genge as a potential leader among the largely youthful group of players.

Ellis Genge in a leadership role.

“Ellis will tell you that he is from the wrong side of the tracks and we’re quite happy for him to stay on the wrong side of them,” Jones said.

“But what he will also tell you is the power of learning self-discipline and that to be a hard-running prop like he is, he needs not just to satisfy his needs, but also to know what the team needs.

“I thought the way he handled that Bristol situation was absolutely outstanding. It was his old club and he put his side in a position to win the game. Whether, rightly or wrongly, it was taken away from him, he handled it wonderfully.

“Can he take a formal leadership role? There’s no reason why he can’t, whether that’s in the future, or now.”

Eddie Jones on the leadership group needed this summer.

With regular England captain Owen Farrell away on Lions duty this summer and experienced players such as Ben Youngs and George Ford set to be rested, Jones will need new leaders to step up among his squad.

Genge is the most experienced player to have been named in the 34-man training squad with 28 caps, meaning the Leicester Tigers prop could be one of the leading contenders to captain his country next month.

While Jones wouldn’t say who he was planning on naming as skipper just yet, he indicated that the captain would be quite young, in order to connect with the many youngsters expected to be named in his squad for the two tests next month.

“We have got a Generation Z that think and feel and they want to be empowered and have their say, so the role of the captain has got to be to meet the demands of his players,” Jones said.

“And for this tour we are going to make sure that we have the right leadership team or group in place. We have some ideas but we’ll have to flesh them out when the players come in.”

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