Springboks legend Tendai Mtawawira tells us what he really thinks of Ellis Genge 2 years ago

Springboks legend Tendai Mtawawira tells us what he really thinks of Ellis Genge

"Would he tempt you to come out of retirement, to have a pop off him?!"

Tendai Mtawawira has heard plenty about Ellis Genge since he declared the England prop needed to be 'dealt with properly' following his rough treatment of Johnny Sexton.


'The Beast', who played 117 Tests for South Africa, joined us on House of Rugby and let us know what he really thinks of the Leicester and England prop.

The back-and-forth started when Mtawawira took exception to Genge stuffing his elbows into the face of Sexton during Ireland's 32-18 Six Nations win over England:


Genge, who came on as a sub in that game and was not cited for the incident, was quick to respond to the former South African loosehead.

From that moment on, Mtawawira says Genge has been a hot topic down his way. That talk may only pick up if the England star makes Warren Gatland's British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa.


On the latest House of Rugby Ireland episode [LISTEN from 2:00 below] Mtawawira opened up on that exchange and shared his frank opinions on Ellis Genge.

"I've been asked about Genge quite a few times," Mtawawira laughs.


"For me, I just believe that what earns you respect - especially as a front-rower - it's the way you scrummage, it's the way you impose yourself in your position. It's your work-rate around the field.

"You just go about your game and you don't get involved in this argy-bargy stuff. All this side-show.

"I just felt that, in his game he has so much potential and he's letting himself down by getting involved in all this - these small, unnecessary battles that are probably costing the team, as a whole. It has a negative impact on the game.

"Especially with front rowers, how I judge them is on how they scrummage. If you look at someone like Mike [Ross], he just went about his business and did it to the best of his ability.

"Front-rowers have been iconic and have had lasting legacies, they've just gone about their business and done their job really well. Guys like Owen Franks. They're quiet; they don't get involved in stuff that isn't necessary. And I just felt Ellis Genge was getting involved, too much, with that unnecessary stuff."

Ellis Genge

Former Leinster and Ireland tighthead Mike Ross also gave his views on Genge and front-rowers sticking to the task at hand.

"I always had an attitude that if you have enough breath to talk after a scrum, you weren't putting enough effort in," said Ross.

"As you said, just do your speaking in the scrum. The chat afterwards is just wasted energy."

Two of the modern day front row legends with a clear message to Genge, who is clearly a talented prop and one capable of representing England, and possibly the Lions, for years to come.


For Fergus McFadden, though, he is delighted his former Ireland teammate Sexton has some sizeable units in his corner.

"I'll tell you what, Tendai," he remarked, "Johnny Sexton will be happy enough to have you volunteering yourself as his bodyguard!"