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'Ellis is gutted... he's not getting any of the credit. He deserves it'

By PA
Ellis Genge /PA

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Jamie George insists England enter the middle phase of their Guinness Six Nations in a promising position after overrunning Italy in Rome.

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A conclusive five-try rout at the Stadio Olimpico – in which the Azzurri were nilled for the first time in the fixture – began the rebuilding process following the crushing late defeat by Scotland in round one.

Eddie Jones’ men have climbed to second in the table and with France, the competition’s only unbeaten side, to come on the final weekend, they remain firmly in the title hunt.

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Facing Goliath | A story following Italy as they take on the mighty All Blacks | A Rugby Originals Documentary
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Facing Goliath | A story following Italy as they take on the mighty All Blacks | A Rugby Originals Documentary

Home clashes with Wales and Ireland are up next and George believes the victory over Italy has struck the right balance of nudging England back on track, while identifying areas for improvement.

“Overall it was a good performance. We knew that we were coming up against a much-improved Italy team and we saw that in the way that they brought it to us,” George said.

“There was a lot of good to take out of the game. Like against Scotland, there was a lot of good to take out of that also. We built on the Scotland game.

“It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means but we’re definitely taking steps in the right direction. Our intent to play and some of our attacking stuff was brilliant.

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“There’s lots to work on and lots to be happy with, which is exactly where we want to be leading into this fallow week.

“We’re still really disappointed with last week but at the same time this sets us up nicely. We’ve got three tough games coming up starting with Wales.”

George showed his carrying power as he helped himself to two tries in Rome but while his second was a bulldozing finish, the score truly belonged to Ellis Genge who floated a long missed pass to his front-row colleague.

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It was a highlights reel moment that would have delighted a fly-half and George insists modern props are no longer confined to the less glamorous elements of the game.

“Ellis is gutted because on England’s Instagram account they’ve posted a picture and it’s an appreciation for me and he’s not getting any of the credit. He deserves it and he’s rattled, he really is!” George said.

“It was an unbelievable bit of skill and not many looseheads in world rugby would be able to do that. It’s great to be able to finish it off.

“It’s an evolution in the game. Everyone’s getting bigger, faster, stronger. But at the same time they’re developing skills like that.

“We’re really lucky to have all our front row forwards who are very comfortable with the ball in hand. To be able to show that on the biggest stage is great.”

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England were inspired by their 23-year-old fly-half Marcus Smith, who was named man of the match after running in a try and setting up two more.

“Marcus is special. The way he ran the game was unbelievable. You don’t need me to say how exciting it is to have him for the future of English rugby,” George added.

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