Who is Ellis Genge, the surprise selection in England's squad for Australia tour?
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 26/05/16 9:56am
Leicester prop Ellis Genge was an eye-opening selection in Eddie Jones' 32-man England squad for the summer tour of Australia.
The 21-year-old loosehead prop is little-known even among die-hard Leicester fans - he played his first game for them in March.
He joined the club from Championship side Bristol in February, and played his first game for the Tigers against Wasps two months ago.
He made his most recent appearance for them off the bench in Saturday's Aviva Premiership play-off semi-final defeat to Saracens. He made his mark on new England team-mate Owen Farrell in that game - flattening the fly-half with a brutal, and to be frank, late tackle which had at one stage looked like ruling the Saracens man out of the tour.
Incredibly, Genge has only been playing in the front row for three years, having played most of his teen rugby as a No 8. But since then, he has drawn comparisons with former England star Andrew Sheridan, one of rugby's most feared scrummagers.
His transformation came at one of England's great rugby cradles, Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. The college's Alan Martinovic, one of the country's most celebrated talent-spotters, was the man who persuaded Genge that his future lay not in the back-row, but in the cauldron of the front row.
In 2014 Martinovic told the Bristol Post: "Over the years, I have worked with over 100 age-group internationals and brought through 11 full internationals - and Ellis is certainly up there with those guys in terms of potential.
"I haven't really seen many kids who can do what he can do on a rugby field - and I have seen a lot of kids in over 30 years. If he can continue doing that in the senior game, what he can achieve is unlimited."
Genge represented England at U17 and U20 levels, helping England to the Junior World Championship final in 2015.
Personal, off-field issues meant Genge needed a move earlier this year, and Leicester has proven to be - in the words of their coach Richard Cockerill - a spiritual home for the 18.5-stone Genge.
When he signed Genge, Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury: "I have known about Ellis for a couple of years because he has come through the (England) age groups and he is an exciting young talent.
"He has some personal issues at Bristol and needs to get away, and we are delighted to have him.
"He has a lot of aggression and he is a good ball carrier. We hope within our environment, he will kick on. He is here to develop. What will happen in the long-term, I don't know. We will see how he goes in training.
"He is a big physical lad and he comes with a reputation of being a handful."