'The label does bother me, though not as much as it used to'
Genge is a contender to be named captain for the Tests at Twickenham over the next two weekends after being thrust into a leadership role in the absence of Eddie Jones’ Lions and a number of rested senior players.
On multiple occasions as a teenager the confrontational 26-year-old nicknamed ‘Baby Rhino’ was arrested and released without charge, but he points to an unblemished disciplinary record as evidence he is in control of his emotions.
“I do think that perhaps people think I am a bit more hot-headed than I am. I feel I react to situations as they are in front of me,” Genge said.
“I’ve never had a red card for ill-discipline and I’ve never had a yellow for anything of that nature besides repeat offences.
“I do think that if I was the captain of England other teams might think ‘let’s get into Ellis’, but it will fall on deaf ears.
“If people would like to waste their time doing that and trying to put me off my game then OK, carry on.”
Genge avoided a citing for running his forearm across the head of Ireland’s Jonny Sexton during the Six Nations and South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira responded to the incident by saying he needed to be “dealt with properly”.
But Genge said: “The label does bother me a little bit, though not as much as it used to. It falls on deaf ears. It’s a misconception.
“I guess it’s relatively easy to accumulate that data and all the stories about me from the past and paint that picture, especially for people who don’t follow my career as closely as they follow their own team’s.
“If you go on social media it’s ‘he’s still hot-headed, too much of a liability’. It makes me laugh a bit as I’ve never had yellows or reds for those sorts of things they’re talking about.”
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