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'I like having a bit of a changing room flare up before the game'

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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New Leicester skipper Ellis Genge has opened up about the style of captaincy he will be bringing to the Tigers’ inner sanctum after Steve Borthwick decided that the prop was the best option to lead the club in the new 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season. Genge learned of his appointment last month and he is eager to show he is the right material to lead after a summer where he was vice-captain with England.  

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Asked to describe his style, he told the weekly Leicester media briefing: “There are walkers and talkers, sayers and doers and I am probably more the latter in terms of a bit more of a doer. I will lead by actions as opposed to words. I mean, I like having a bit of a changing room flare up before the game but that is nothing new to the boys, I have done that before having the armband so.”

Genge added that he never imagined he would be given such an honour at Leicester but added it doesn’t bring any perks and that everyone at the club is still treating him the same way they did before Borthwick reckoned he was the perfect fit to succeed the long-serving Tom Youngs as skipper.

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“I get a gold-plated number plate,” he quipped. “No mate, not much changes actually in day to day life. Everyone is treating me the same, which is brilliant. Just a few more memes and a few more conversations with the management and staff, which is a work in progress.

“I have always been told that I am (captaincy material) but I have never sort of envisioned myself to be captain at a club with so much history or vice-captain with England in the summer. It’s nothing that had crossed my mind but without sounding too cliched, these days you have 15 leaders on the pitch at all times. 

“Obviously some young lads need a bit more steering than the others but you have usually got five or six big personalities in the team, so something that is probably a strength of mind is finding the balance between who is doing what job and who is best in what role,” he continued ahead of next Saturday’s league opener at home to Exeter following a pre-season that included a jaunt to the Channel Islands. 

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“The Jersey trip was good,” he assured. “We didn’t have any big piss-ups or anything like that but we had a few meals and spent a bit more time with each other away from the field which has been really hard with Covid. Are we a lot tighter? I don’t know. It’s a tricky question. You’re asking me to go into the intricacies of how everyone thinks. I don’t know, boys might hate me. It’s everyone’s personal opinion, isn’t it? We’re doing well. The pre-season has been good. I’m looking forward to playing against Exeter.

“Everyone thinks they have had an amazing pre-season until the first game and I have been part of a Tigers team that has done that a few times, thought that they had a great pre-season, got to the first game and found out a bit about ourselves. We have worked hard, trying to get back to the Tigers way I guess, sort of find our DNA and keep hammering away at that. I’m enjoying being a part of it.”

Leicester finished last season in sixth spot in what was Borthwick’s first full season in charge and they were also Challenge Cup final runners-up, but Genge believed those placings weren’t reflective enough of the work put in. “The results don’t reflect what we were doing last year because every game was probably within seven, ten points which is one score and there are no medals for second place in this industry. If you almost win doesn’t count, unfortunately. We’ll be better this year and try to eradicate those errors and really clinch teams out.”

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'I like having a bit of a changing room flare up before the game'

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