England’s Ellis Genge, the formidable prop, is poised to assume a crucial role from the bench as England prepares to take on the Springboks in the highly anticipated World Cup semi-final clash.
In this pivotal match, the vice-captain, alongside George Ford, will make his presence felt as Owen Farrell continues to lead the team from the fly-half position.
It’s worth noting that a remarkable thirteen members of England’s squad were on the field during the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, an event that saw South Africa emerge as unexpected victors with a score of 32-12.
For Genge, there’s an added layer of motivation stemming from a distressing incident he endured in South Africa a few years back. The incident involved racist abuse, a painful reminder of the lingering issues of discrimination and prejudice.
Recalling his experiences growing up in Bristol, Genge shared, “I still encounter racial abuse to this day. While I do my best to distance myself from those who hold narrow or ignorant views, it’s impossible to shield oneself from the thoughts of everyone.”
Recalling a specific incident from the 2018 South African tour, he recounted, “After a game, as we walked through a tunnel, they started hurling racist abuse at myself and a few of the other ethnic boys and Eddie himself.”
Genge’s resolve to address this persistent issue is clear. He emphasized, “Racism is still very prevalent, especially in the realm of sports. We may not be able to control it individually, but we must disseminate a strong message. As Raheem Sterling once stated, if you possess a platform, you have the ability to use it. Racism is a problem that demands eradication.”
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NIGEL OWENS: MY TOP 5 CAPTAINS
#5. Chris Robshaw (England)
The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.
Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.
Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.
Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”