Since making the switch to Leicester Tigers last year, Ellis Genge has seen his promising kick into high gear. Now, despite his mentor Richard Cockerill’s departure from the Tigers, Genge is eager to commit his future to the club.
The 21-year-old was brought to Leicester by Cockerill last season from Bristol and since joining the club, has steadily improved to the point where he is marked for a very bright future as an England international.
Enjoying a spell of spectacular form for the Tigers, the young prop is keen to commit his future to the club that took a chance on him.
Speaking to The Rugby Paper, Genge says,
“My deal’s not quite over the line, but I’m looking to do that. I want to be at a club that can compete and Tigers are the only club that’s been in the top four for 12 or 13 years on the trot, so my vision fits with where they want to be.
“I’ve got good mates here I want to play rugby with and we aim to make the top four again.
“At Bristol I was ‘the’ boy but when I came here I was an absolute nobody so it was hard to begin with just holding the tackle bags and trying to get some games. But now I’m playing a lot more and I’m getting tested against world-class tight-heads every week.
“I’ve had a few pastings – I won’t say who because I don’t want to give their egos a boost – but although I’m not the finished article, I’m getting better.”
Chosen by Eddie Jones for last summers tour of Australia and receiving his first cap in June, Genge missed out on a place on the extended panel ahead of the upcoming Six Nations.
Despite this, the loosehead prop could see his fortunes change following the injuries to Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler. In rampant form for the Tigers, he could well see himself move to the fringes of the squad as backup to Nathan Catt and Matt Mullan.
For Genge, there is now an opportunity to impress in the absence of Jones’ first choice looseheads.
“Mullan and Catt are good players and that’s why they’re in the squad, but I’m different and I’m working hard on my scrummaging, too, so I’ll try to make an impact at Leicester.”
With the ambition to push his way into contention, Leicester now look set to benefit from the eager to improve Genge.
Should any more injury woes befall Jones’ front row options, who knows, perhaps Genge can add to his singular cap in the weeks ahead.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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