Thu 27 Oct 2022 | 09:50

Genge could be ace in Jones' deck to lead England

Genge could be ace in Jones' deck to lead England
Thu 27 Oct 2022 | 09:50
Genge could be ace in Jones' deck to lead England
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SPOTLIGHT: Ellis Genge could be the ace in Eddie Jones’ deck of cards for the England captaincy while Courtney Lawes and Owen Farrell are recovering from the concussions sustained on club duty.

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The availability of Lawes and Farrell is still uncertain for the series opener against Argentina at Twickenham on Sunday week.

They did not attend the training in Jersey which has forced Jones to consider alternatives to the pair who took charge against Australia in July when Lawes acted as skipper and Farrell was vice-captain.

Tom Curry was the man who stepped up to the captaincy when Lawes and Farrell were absent in the Six Nations, but prop Genge has impressed as a leader at Leicester Tigers and is currently the front man to captain the side.

Both Ben Youngs and Richard Cockerill have hailed Ellis Genge’s transformation from “rough diamond” into world-leading loosehead prop and “calm and measured” leader.

“When Ellis first arrived at Leicester he was a rough diamond. He had all this raw power and talent which needed shaping in how he played,” said Youngs.

“He’d do these crazy rhino runs but to see what he is now, he’s totally different. He’s one of the best looseheads in the world, if not the best.

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“His consistency of ball carrying is constant. That’s huge growth. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to people because they go and find that growth by working hard.

“When you’re blessed with that power and aggression you’ve still got to work out how to use it effectively and he’s done that.

“The Ellis that turned up at Tigers compared to the one that’s here today are very different characters.

“The way Leicester play you need someone at the coal face as captain and Gengey is that through the scrums and how he carries and tackles.

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“It was a natural fit for him, but he also made it his own and has grown week by week into that leadership role.

“He’d probably be the first to admit that he’s trying to improve in that area – but I think he’s doing a wonderful job.”

The news that Luke Cowan-Dickie, the third member of his leadership inner circle, might be in a position to resume full training next week, would have been welcomed by Jones.

A crisis at hooker could be on the cards as Cowan-Dickie sustained a knee injury on club duty for Exeter over the weekend while Jamie George missed the entire autumn because of a foot problem.

In the interim rookies George McGuigan and Jack Singleton are placed on stand-by to provide cover.

 

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