“A lot of people said I tried to gouge him. That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’d never even dream of doing something like that. It’s disgusting”
Image: Getty Images)
Ellis Genge has apologised for losing his head against Wasps but blasted claims he tried to gouge the eyes of an opponent.
The England prop was yellow carded for striking in the face and pulling the hair of Francois Hougaard during Leicester’s first defeat of the season.
He was then subjected to a social media pile-on with many accusing him of attacking the eyes of the Wasps winger.
“I let myself down for a split second,” the Leicester captain admitted. “It potentially cost us the game and I have apologised to the boys.
“A lot of people said I tried to gouge him. That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’d never even dream of doing something like that. It’s disgusting.
“But yeah I lost my head in the heat of the moment, pushed him in the face a bit. I’ll learn from it.”
Genge, 26, is used to being labelled a disciplinary liability even though he has never been shown a red card in professional rugby,
Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
He is one of very few England players to captain his club and Tigers boss Steve Borthwick describes him as an “incredibly powerful leader”, one who “sets an example”.
“For some reason there’s this weird perception I’ve got bad discipline,” said the prop. “It goes in one ear and out the other but I get peppered online about it.
“I love captaining this club. Imagine being at war and all your troops are ready to die! That’s what it’s like, that’s what our pack’s about. Being at the front of that, leading them in, I love it.
The RFU Collection via Getty Ima)
“I don’t always get it right but have I matured? Yeah, probably. You’ve still got to have a crack, you’re still human. It’s in my nature to have a good time. But I try not to act the fool all the time.”
Genge’s England team mate Alex Dombrandt has signed a new long-term contract with Harlequins, who take their unbeaten European Cup record to Cardiff on Friday.
But the tournament is in turmoil due to Covid and last night’s decision to award 0-0 draws to the five second round matches which fell victim to emergency travel measures introduced between the UK and France.
David Rogers/Getty Images)
This weekend’s matches in France are also in danger of being called off unless the French government relaxes its demand that teams isolate for 48 hours in country before they play.
Better news from Scotland where Nicola Sturgeon’s government has given Murrayfield the green light to host a full house for England’s Six Nations visit on Feb 5.