England loosehead Ellis Genge has responded to claims that he headbutted Welsh prop Tomas Francis in his side’s Autumn Nations Cup win over Wales at Parc Y Scarlets.
England ran out 24 – 13 victors over the hosts, but tempers flared on a number of occasions during the Pool A match.
Video emerged online of what appeared to be a head strike by Genge on the Welshman that lead to a mass scuffle in the 74th minute. Former England flyhalf Andy Goode tweeted the video, saying: ‘Thoughts on this? Some say headbutt some say nothing’.
Genge headbutt clear as day yet not picked up by officials or commentary. Have a word. pic.twitter.com/xEFicrQuDd
— AJF (@AF03ASH) November 28, 2020
Now Genge has responded to the claim.
“Thanks for all the Twitter TMO reviews but I didn’t headbutt anyone, thanks for all the messages of support for today – love this group!”
Thanks for all the Twitter TMO reviews but I didn’t headbutt anyone, thanks for all the messages of support for today – love this group!
— Gengey (@EllisGenge) November 28, 2020
He was backed up by among others, Welsh rugby writer Paul Williams, who wrote: “Looked like LCD [Luke Cowan Dickie] pushed him from behind to me. Lost his balance. Fell forward. If he had headbutted a player there would have been a massive reaction from the Welsh boys. There wasn’t. Camera angle doesn’t help either.”
Looked like LCD pushed him from behind to me. Lost his balance. Fell forward. If he had headbutted a player there would have been a massive reaction from the Welsh boys. There wasn't. Camera angle doesn't help either.
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) November 28, 2020
Certainly the on field reaction after the incident suggested that there hadn’t been a head to head contact, although time will tell whether the Bristol-born prop is hauled up to a disciplinary panel.
Despite how close the sides were at halftime, head coach Eddie Jones seemed pleased with the away win. “At halftime it could have been a ‘Psycho’ horror movie. The woman goes to the shower and you know what’s coming from behind the shower curtain.”
“Wales did a few things at the end of the first half to put us off our game and then we had a choice at halftime of how would we react. Would we allow them to continue to do that or do we stick to our game?
“The boys showed really good tactical discipline to stick to our game. We had one little wonky period for around 10 minutes in the second half but generally we had game control so I was really pleased about that.”
England now top Pool A with three wins from three.
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