England ‘hopeful’ on Genge return against Wales

Ellis Genge
Ellis Genge has not played since the start of December
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 10 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, live text on BBC Sport website and app, watch on ITV1

England are “hopeful” vice-captain Ellis Genge will be fit to face Wales on Saturday, says attack coach Richard Wigglesworth.

The 28-year-old was a late withdrawal from England’s opening Six Nations victory over Italy last weekend.

The prop was originally named in the matchday squad, but was forced out due to a foot injury.

“Ellis trained on [Tuesday] in parts and he has got to get through Thursday,” Wigglesworth told BBC Sport.

Genge had been touch and go with a hamstring injury before the tournament, which he claimed to recover from ‘like Wolverine’.

Wigglesworth also confirmed Marcus Smith’s calf injury will set him “further back in the tournament” after the fly-half missed the opener in Rome and was left out of the squad preparing to face Wales.

However, centre Ollie Lawrence could “potentially” come into camp at the end of this week, but will not be involved against Wales.

Second row George Martin is receiving treatment for his knee injury and could also be back to face Scotland on 24 February.

‘Discipline has been incredibly important’

International referee Luke Pearce was in the England camp this week to discuss current “trends” that officials are looking for at the moment.

South Africa confirmed on Tuesday that recently retired international referee Jaco Peyper will join their coaching side as national laws adviser.

“We are lucky that we get the referees a lot and it is definitely something that Steve [Borthwick] has brought to the programme,” Wigglesworth told the Rugby Union Daily podcast.

“Discipline has been incredibly important to Steve as we need to know what to do better, so we have referees in camp a lot.

“Not to be there to referee but to review decisions.”

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