England star Ellis Genge started both Tests in Argentina in the summer
Bish, bash, bosh is precisely what Genge supplies. His front-on ferocity is why he will feature against Argentina for England next week. The 22-year-old ball of barbed wire is set to be a beneficiary of Eddie Jones’s plans to use this autumn’s internationals as a laboratory to test his squad depth.
The loss of Joe Marler to suspension and Matt Mullan to a torn tricep has cleared the path and with only two looseheads remaining, the question is whether he or Mako Vunipola is given first shot at the Pumas.
Genge started both Tests in Argentina in the summer in the absence of Vunipola and Marler and has begun the season destructively at Welford Road.
“I’m doing alright. I’ve a lot to work on but I’m getting the ball a bit which is what I enjoy,” said Genge. “The scrum is going alright as a Leicester pack too.
“If you’re playing well for Leicester hopefully you get the rewards with England and five of the boys have. “All I can do is play as well as I can. If Joe wasn’t suspended and Mulls was there, I’d still have the same mindset. Now they’re not there, I just have to get my head down and work hard.”
The position is similar on the other side of the scrum where another up-and-coming thruster, Exeter’s Harry Williams, will also play a role against Argentina.
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I’ve a lot to work on but I’m getting the ball a bit which is what I enjoy
Williams is also the beneficiary of a suspension with Kyle Sinckler ruled out and is one of only two tightheads training in Portugal this week along with senior statesman Dan Cole.
Next week they will be involved in the joint forwards session against Wales in Bristol dreamed up by Warren Gatland. With Genge around, this is likely to be lively so it is a good job Nigel Owens will be refereeing the session.
The firebrand prop has toned down the verbals on the advice of Cole but he remains a simmering pot of aggression. If the Wales front row do not know him yet, they will do after Monday.
“We have a lot of graft ahead of us and three tough games as well against Argentina, Australia and Samoa. Work never stops. No rest for the wicked,” said Genge.
“Fingers crossed I get the opportunity to play in all three of the Tests but I’ll take it week by week and see how I go.”
Channelling his volcanic element is the trick and it is one Leicester have pulled off to their benefit this season.
Genge’s explosiveness, allied to the ability to cut a line he showed in one searing break against Newcastle on Sunday, is an increasingly important asset to a team which looks to be coming together after five successive wins.
“We’ve really gelled. We’re happy with where we’re at,” said Genge. “If you look 12 months ago we’re in a lot better spot than we were but then again we’re a different team with different personnel and you’d expect that.
“We’re third now. It doesn’t eradicate the two defeats we’ve had but I feel as if we’re in good stead going forward.
“We always get better as the season goes on – last year we were seventh after Christmas and we finished top four which we always do – and the more we play together the stronger we’ll get as a team.”