One of four uncapped players in England’s party for the 2016 tour of Australia, Bristol-born Ellis Genge headed Down Under with a Test cap, having played in the 27-13 win over Wales at Twickenham just before the squad’s departure. Three days earlier, he had agreed a long-term move to Leicester Tigers, where he had been on loan from Bristol for the final four months of the season. Things have moved on from there. He won the 2016/17 Land Rover Discovery of the Year award this May and has played in 27 Premiership matches overall and scored three tries.
He made his debut in that competition against Wasps in March last year after appearing 26 times for Bristol and scoring six tries. A former Old Redcliffians’ player, he represented England U17, U18 and U19 before figuring in eight matches for the U20 side last year, including the World Rugby Championship final against New Zealand. He was educated at John Cabot City Technology College in Bristol, led Hartpury College to two AASE Championship titles and switched from No.8 to prop three years ago.
Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson had drawn comparisons between Ellis and with former England prop Andrew Sheridan. Alan Martinovic, another accomplished talent spotter, has described the potential of the young prop as “unlimited”.
He was born in Knowle, Bristol and the biggest influence on his career is his father Richard. Ellis said: “My dad always loved a Sunday beer so it fitted in well with him and my first coach Mat Clark kept me on the straight and narrow.”
His career unfolded with appearances for England U17, U18 and U19 and while at Hartpury he won a player of the year award. When Hartpury represented England in the Sanix World Youth Tournament in Japan, they lost to Saint Kentigern College of New Zealand in the final. Martinovic said: “Ellis became a bit of a local celebrity. Various Japanese people wanted a photograph with him after the game and he loved it.”
In his Twitter biography, Ellis claims that he is “like the M5…Two hard shoulders”, an apt comparison because it was the 40-mile journey on that motorway from Bristol to Hartpury that helped to shape his promising career. His U20 debut was against Wales at Colwyn Bay in February 2015 and he scored a maiden try from a lineout drive in his second match against Italy at Plymouth six days later.
Last updated: 18 May 2017