Youngs backs Genge to lead England rugby team
England’s most capped player Ben Youngs backed former ‘diamond in the rough’ Ellis Genge to lead the side in their November international opener against Argentina at Twickenham.
Courtney Lawes and Owen Farrell, two of manager Eddie Jones’ most experienced England captains, are currently recovering from club concussions which left them doubts for the game against the Pumas on November 6.
Neither Lawes nor Farrell have made it to England’s ongoing training camp on the Channel Island of Jersey.
And while Tom Curry led England into the Six Nations when the British and Irish Lions were away, there is a growing view that striker Genge, now back at hometown club Bristol, should take over in charge. as captain if Farrell and Lawes are not fit to face Argentina – one of England’s opponents at next year’s World Cup in France.
Scrum-half Youngs, capped 117 times by England, played alongside Genge at Leicester and has no doubts about the 27-year-old’s front-line qualities.
“When Ellis first arrived at Leicester he was a diamond in the rough. He had all this raw power and talent that needed to be molded into the way he played,” Youngs told reporters on Thursday.
“He would do these crazy rhino races, but to see what he is now, he’s totally different. He’s one of the best cowards in the world, if not the best.
“His consistency in carrying the ball is consistent. That’s huge growth. Sometimes you have to take your hat off to people because they’re going to find that growth through hard work.”
Youngs, 33, added: “When you’re blessed with that power and that aggression, you still have to figure out how to use it effectively and he did.
“The Ellis who appeared at the Tigers versus the one who is here today are very different characters.
“In terms of leadership, he speaks very well. He’s very calm, very measured. He has a good sense of people in terms of how he speaks and interacts.”