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The 'talk to him' reason why Bristol already impressed with Genge

By PA
(Photo by Mark Evans/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Bristol boss Pat Lam has hailed the immense contribution by Ellis Genge to the England tour of Australia. Genge, who links up with Bristol later this summer after captaining Leicester to their first Gallagher Premiership title, produced outstanding form as England claimed a 2-1 Test series triumph.

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The 27-year-old prop excelled throughout, continuing from where he left off with Tigers and during England’s Guinness Six Nations campaign. Genge, along with his England squad colleagues, is now on a break after returning from Australia.

But the Bristolian’s West Country return is eagerly awaited, heading up a list of new arrivals that also includes former Sale Sharks fly-half AJ MacGinty and Scotland international forward Magnus Bradbury. “Ellis was immense on the tour and he was immense all season for England and Leicester,” said Bristol rugby director Lam.

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When you talk to him, you can see why. Guys had to fill in some forms here – the internationals don’t have to do it as they are currently away – but Ellis was one of the first guys in the group to do it, sending stuff in and communicating and he is not even here.”

Lam believes that Genge prospered as Leicester skipper, adding: “It adds to your game. I always challenge guys to try and prepare and think as though they are the captain because it does change the way you think – it is the bigger picture.

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“Everyone knows the growth Ellis is making and he will definitely be in our leadership group. He is back home and excited to be back home and whether he has got a title or not, he is still going to be a massive leader in the group. A lot of the guys here, it is not really about the title they have, it is about the impact they will have throughout the group.”

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While Genge prepares for a new chapter in his career, Lam was also enthused by Sam Jeffries’ presence on the England tour. Jeffries, whose career was stalled by a serious knee injury, offers options in the back row and at lock. His Bristol form last term prompted a call-up from England boss Eddie Jones to his squad in Australia after Charlie Ewels was ruled out by injury.

Lam said: “When Eddie does his visits and we talk about players, I said to him to have a close look at Sam because of the qualities that he has. He can play right across the back row and second row and getting away on tour shows how far he has come.

“Fair play, Eddie brought him into a training camp (earlier this year), they liked what they saw and there is no doubt he would have fitted in well. Sam is a remarkable individual, on and off the field.”

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