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'Oxford was a long time ago... we had a straightener in the car park to sort it out'

By PA
The England and Georgia training session held at Latymers School last year

Ellis Genge insists England are ready to take on Ireland’s scrum after grinding Georgia into submission in a 40-0 Autumn Nations Cup victory at Twickenham.

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Two fiery training sessions against Los Lelos – the most recent of which ended in a fight – were avenged in a forward-dominated battle that produced a staggering 17 scrums, 31 line-outs and 11 mauls.

It was a predictable win fought out in driving rain that exposed the gulf in class between World Cup finalists and the game’s 12th ranked team, but it at least enabled England to test their forward depth.

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Ellis Genge on Jamie George scoring a hat trick | England Press Conference | Autumn Nations Cup

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Ellis Genge on Jamie George scoring a hat trick | England Press Conference | Autumn Nations Cup

A number of the personnel will be changed for the first true test of the autumn after Eddie Jones conceded that Ireland will pose different challenges, forcing “a rethink how we select the team”, and Genge believes a strong platform has been laid.

“This game puts us in good stead going into Ireland because they’re scrummaging quite well now. It will be a good battle there against Ireland,” Genge said.

“We were 7-0 up after 20-odd minutes. You’ve got to break teams like Georgia down and you get there in the end.

“In these forward battles, you’ve got to grind it out. Long scrums in the rain – it tires you out when you’re doing them for that long.

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“This sets us up for what’s to come. It was a good performance but we’ve got a lot more in the tank. It shows how far we’ve come as a team to be able to get a result like that.

“When you do unit sessions and scrums during the week, you try not to empty the tank otherwise you can be quite sore. But then you get to a game like that and we had 17 scrums, which is loads.”

Genge was at the heart of the fisticuffs that exploded in Oxford in February 2019 when a live scrummaging session turned nasty, forcing coaching and backroom staff to separate the warring players.

A year earlier, England were taken apart at the scrum in a similarly charged afternoon of training in London as Georgia demonstrated a foundational strength of their game.

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Since then, Los Lelos hooker Shalva Mamukashvili has joined Genge at Leicester Tigers and the two have buried the hatchet.

“Oxford was a long time ago. Shalva has come to the club and we had a straightener in the car park to sort it out!” Genge said.

“But no, he’s a good boy and we’ve got a lot of respect for each other. When you’ve dealt with the dark arts in the front row, you show a lot of mutual respect.

“Hats off to Georgia, they’re a great scrummaging side and we came out on top which we’re really pleased about.”

Jamie George was named man of the match after becoming the first England hooker to score a hat-trick of tries, each of them coming at the end of a line-out drive.

“We’re doing the hard yards and Jamie’s picking up the glory! Jamie’s a class act who has 51 caps for England for a reason,” Genge said.

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Wonton 5 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

One game against Fiji is not enough to show that a player is ready to play the likes of South Africa. Spreading the ball wide too much increases the risk of turnovers and we turned the ball over 20 times against Fiji which is a lot more than what we did in the two England tests. We actually turned the ball over the same amount of times (20) against England in the 2019 semi final which we lost. Fiji didn’t make us pay for those turnovers but other teams will. In the 2nd test against England this year we had 100% success rate on attacking rucks. That’s the first time the AB’s have achieved this since the 2019 opening game of the RWC against South Africa. South Africa won last years RWC and Jesse Kriel did not pass once. The days of the Conrad Smith type centre might be over. Also Conrad Smith debuted in 2004 but he did not become an incumbent until Nonu did also in 2008. As for Rieko Ioane he and Jordie Barrett put in some very strong midfield hits in the 2nd test forcing turnovers several times. Rieko Ioane hasn’t played wing in years. If Proctor is moved to 13 then the best I think Ioane can hope for is an impact player off the bench. He does not have the aerial game of Caleb Clarke or the workrate of Tele’a for 11 and going to be selected over Jordan at 14. However its much too early to replace Rieko with Proctor. Rieko was excellent in the knock out rounds of the RWC. All Proctor has to show on his test CV is a good game against Fiji.

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Nick 6 hours ago
How 'gazelle' Nick Frost thawed the hearts of Wallaby fans at Suncorp

Its almost like you read my comment on the other site on sunday morning Nick - you flagged all the same examples! 😝 Frost was motm for mine. That eg in the 56th minute in particular impressed me, nothing but sheer effort and a dupont/smith-like tracking line behind the D. Surely an effort like that from frost marries perfectly with that quote from schmidt at the start of the year about effort and work rate being 70-80% and talent is just the icing on top… What it also showed though was the players not making that effort, in that example he goes past both valetini and ikitau, and in the eg that finished with valetini scoring hunter paisami barely breaks a canter to support the break. And then there was the chase from wright and lancaster for the 2nd georgian try! One blemish - at kickoff I saw frost miss or get bumped off a few tackles and I felt like I saw what has been holding his selection back. I think because he is so big and is trying to get low to tackle, he seems to dip his head and ends up losing his balance or ability to adjust and ends up missing or making a soft hit. I think in the first 2 minutes he misses or makes 2-3 soft tackles, but you could clearly see the work rate and desire! He (the pod) also missed a kick restart or two? Also very happy to see harry wilson back in the fold. What impressed me from him wasn’t all the usual stuff he is known for, but all the other bits that usually let him down. He looked surprisingly good in the air at lineout time, physical at the breakdown, and good in the maul peeling off 3 georgians for one of the maul tries. Id have frost, skelton, wright as my 4-6 with LSL and wilson on the bench. i’m once again unconvinced by tom wirght - he was very good game 1, but game 2-3 he was back to more rocks than diamonds. There is no real other player to usurp him really so he stays in the team for now but I think Joe should put kellaway wherever he serves the team best and wright can be moved around him. Did donno do enough to overtake noah? My gut says no. They clearly had a plan to attack more so he looked better in that regard because he just had more opportunity, but they looked better off tate (who had a v good game also) then they did off donno.

17 Go to comments
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