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Pat Lam provides Ellis Genge injury update amid fears of missing Six Nations start

By Chris Jones
England's Ellis Genge (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears boss Pat Lam has insisted Ellis Genge, one of the strongest candidates to replace Owen Farrell as England captain, is on track to overcome his hamstring injury and be ready for the opening Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome on February 3.

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Genge injured his hamstring training with Bristol at the start of December and there were reports that his recovery timeline has changed, making it possible he could miss the Italy match, forcing England head coach Steve Borthwick to opt for another of his captaincy options.

However, Lam is adamant nothing has changed in the expected return for Genge, whose ball carrying has been sorely missed by Bristol who travel to Sale on Friday night. Lam said: “The plan is for him to be back for the Italy game.

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“Ellis is doing really well and looks bigger to me with that work in the gym. When people have injuries you have a window to get better physically and also mentally and he is on track and hopefully he will make it in time for around the Six Nations. The main thing is that players get back on time if not before. Most of the time guys come back earlier but every injury is different.

“When he is ready then he is ready. If he came back and it is a Premiership game then we have to make that call in conjunction with the medical team. If it is a Six Nations game that is over to Steve. It is up to the coach to make the final call.

“Ellis has been talked about [as captain] because he is a leader and wears his heart on his sleeve and gives everything. I have no doubt he is one of the [England] contenders and that is Steve [Borthwick’s] role and we all know the type of leader he is.”

Bristol could have AJ McGinty, the USA Eagles outside half, who suffered a serious hamstring injury in the first round of Premiership matches, to face his former Sale teammates. “AJ is back in the mix but Harry Thacker is still going through HIA process,” he added. “AJ played really well last year and it’s good to have him available and Sale know him well.”

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