England: Ben Youngs hails Ellis Genge leadership as captaincy talk gathers momentum

Adam Kyriacou
England prop Ellis Genge at training

England scrum-half Ben Youngs has given a glowing reference to Ellis Genge as the captaincy could be up for grabs in the Autumn Nations Series.

Senior players Courtney Lawes and Owen Farrell are both recovering from the concussions they suffered while playing for Northampton and Saracens respectively.

That has left uncertainty surrounding who might skipper England in their end-of-year opener against Argentina at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, November 6.

Backing for Ellis Genge

However, Youngs has thrown his weight behind former Leicester Tigers team-mate, as head coach Eddie Jones considers his alternatives to Lawes and Farrell.

“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 the scrum-half.

“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.

“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.”

Youngs, a 117 cap veteran, has been equally impressed with Genge‘s ability to get his messages across to his team-mates, something he was full of praise for.

“In terms of leadership he speaks very well. He’s very calm, very measured. He’s got a great feel with people in terms of how he talks and interacts,” he continued.

A natural fit for the prop

“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.

“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.”

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