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Ellis Genge: England prop aims to use experience to improve Bristol Bears

Ellis Genge: England prop aims to use experience to improve Bristol Bears

Ellis Genge after Leicester's Premiership title win
Genge ended his time at Leicester by captaining the side as they won the Premiership title in June

Ellis Genge said he wants to help Bristol be the “best” the team they can be after re-joining his hometown club.

The 27-year-old began his career with the Bears and made his debut in 2013.

He left three years later for Leicester and went on to captain the Tigers, making 111 appearances and winning the Premiership title last season.

“I’m going to try and come in and help this team be as best as we can be on and off the pitch,” the England prop told BBC Radio Bristol.

“The environments of what I was used to last year and here are complete chop change, the complete opposite.

“It’s going to take some getting used to for me. But I can’t wait to really add to the environment we’ve got here, it’s a good one, the culture’s brilliant.”

Bristol topped the Premiership table at the end of the 2020-21 season, but were beaten by Harlequins in extra-time in the play-off semi-finals.

Last season, however, the team finished a disappointing 10th place in the league, compared to the table-topping Tigers.

Genge, who has 39 international caps, has taken what Bristol called a “significant pay cut” to join the club and he will line up alongside England team-mate Kyle Sinckler in the front row.

He said that while mistakes were made by the club last season, progress can be made.

“Last season they weren’t great, were they, at all? I think they got some things right but a lot wrong,” Genge said.

“The beauty of it is, especially in sport and I think business alike, you’re never that far off. You always think you’re a million miles away but you’re never that far off.

“I think hopefully with a few changes, maybe a different perspective, a different approach on things that I hopefully I can help influence that.

“But first off I have to gain the trust and respect of everyone else in the environment and that’s what I’m working on at the moment.”

Genge joined the Bristol academy when he was 18 and rapidly progressed through to the first team, making his debut a year later.

However the club he left in 2016 is much changed from the one he has re-signed for.

“It’s got a completely different brand to when I was here. Different morals, different values, everything,” Genge continued.

“When I was here last time I was an academy member, I was 18, 19, and coming in almost felt like that. I stood up straight and went looking at everyone else and [Joe] Joyce was like, ‘Well everyone’s looking at you.’

“I just want to familiarise myself with everyone straight away, let them get to know my personality because I’m not – although I probably seem I’ve got a bit of a grumpy demeanour – I’m actually not a bad person. I’m not as scary as I look.

“I’m just trying to familiarise myself with everyone, get up to speed and hopefully add to the team.”

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