‘Hopefully… it’s not as bad as it looks’ – England sweat over Ellis Genge’s fitness for All Blacks Tests

Jared Wright
Ellis Genge of Bristol Bears is carried off injured during the Premiership rugby match between Harlequins and Bristol Bears

Ellis Genge of Bristol Bears is carried off injured during the Premiership rugby match between Harlequins and Bristol Bears.

England head coach Steve Borthwick may be without star loosehead prop Ellis Genge for the upcoming Tests against the All Blacks.

England tackle New Zealand in a two-Test series in July but could do so without vice-captain Genge after he was forced off the pitch during Bristol’s final game of the Premiership season.

The powerhouse front rower ran a stunning try for the Bears before being forced off before half-time, with Bristol going on to defeat Harlequins 28-53 at the Twickenham Stoop.

Genge in doubt for New Zealand tour

Genge was in a walking boot and on crutches after the match, with Bears’ head coach Pat Lam confirming that he popped his calf in a scrum.

The injury has put his involvement in New Zealand in doubt.

“He popped his calf in the scrum. I don’t know how bad it is. Hopefully for England it’s not as bad as it looks,” Lam said after the match.

Borthwick may now be forced to test his depth at loosehead prop and could be tempted to turn to the form front rows like Harlequins’ Fin Baxter and Sale Sharks’ Bevan Rodd.

Winners and losers from the final round of the Premiership as semi-finalist confirmed and legends bow out

Despite the win, Bristol were unable to book their place in the Premiership semi-finals but Lam was still beaming with pride.

“I’m really proud of the boys. We knew all we could do was control what we could do,” he added.

“To get a record score for a Bristol team here at the Stoop is really pleasing. The type of rugby we played is why I’m really proud of the boys.

Premiership semi-finals and kick-off times confirmed

“Everyone reminds me about ‘Bristanbul’ (the semi-final loss) and what I loved most about that with 20 minutes is that we managed the game, kept the foot on the throat and didn’t allow them back in the game. Hopefully, it’s well and truly buried.

“The fact we are in the race after the last two seasons shows the progress. The rugby we have played since we played Bath in January, we’ve played some really good rugby.

“I actually believe we are playing better rugby than three years ago when we were top of the table. We’ll continue to grow.”

READ MORE: Depleted Bristol beat Harlequins in thriller as both teams miss semi-finals spots