Ellis Genge praises resilience of Leicester captain Tom Youngs

19 May 2017 02:39

Ellis Genge has paid tribute to Tom Young's "massive resilience" in opting to captain Leicester Tigers' Aviva Premiership play-off drive while coping with his wife's illness.

Youngs' wife Tiffany has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leading brother Ben to withdraw from the summer's British and Irish Lions tour.

England prop Genge hailed hooker Youngs' focus this week as Leicester gear up for Saturday's play-off semi-final trip to Wasps.

Former Bristol front-rower Genge believes many top stars find solace and strength in their rugby - and hopes Youngs can do the same.

"I think rugby has helped people through a lot of difficult things in their lives, and I really hope it's helping him through at the moment," Genge told Press Association Sport.

"I don't think it's ever easy to understand what's going on in someone's life, things like that are so personal. But you can certainly try to appreciate the magnitude of what he's going through.

"Off the field, rugby's just as hard as it is on the field sometimes. So you've just got to be there for each other. We're all here for him and that's because he's always there for us.

"Tommy's a great man, he has massive resilience and bags of character. He's been so good to me in helping me learn and progress, as have all the senior guys at the club.

"Tom's got all the boys behind him and his family, and he's got his brother at the club too, which I just hope it can all help to be honest.

"But this weekend there's a big game for us and it's where he wants to be."

Genge scooped the Land Rover discovery of the season accolade at Wednesday's Aviva Premiership awards dinner, and will start Saturday's semi-final at Wasps in Leicester's front-row.

The 22-year-old insisted he had benefited from the fortune of playing well enough early enough in his career to land the young player of the season award.

Leicester have seen three coaches depart in a turbulent season that saw the club just manage to sneak into the play-offs, but Genge insisted the Tigers squad have never panicked this term.

"It's good to be noticed and my name to be put up there," said Genge, speaking on behalf of Land Rover.

"I'm just lucky to be young enough at the right time for this one - right place, right time.

"I don't think anyone at Leicester truly ever thought we wouldn't make the top four to be honest. It was just a few sceptics out there.

"It shows a lot of character for us to claw our way in. I think we were sixth at one point and that's not where we're supposed to be. It's great character from the lads to pull it back."

:: Ellis Genge was speaking on behalf of Land Rover, the official vehicle partner of Premiership Rugby. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal

Source: PA