Murrayfield match-winner Ellis Genge admits he has exchanged sharp words with Eddie Jones after taking exception to criticism from England’s head coach.
Genge rumbled across the whitewash for the 70th-minute try that sealed a 13-6 victory over Scotland in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash in Edinburgh, winning his 16th cap as a replacement off the bench.
The fiery 24-year-old prop provides England with a hard edge up front, but he has not always seen eye to eye with the coach who gave him his Test debut.
“I was quite lucky. I got my cap in 2016 after playing minimal minutes in the Premiership and I thought ‘here we go, I’m an England player’. And I told Eddie that,” Genge said.
“I thought I was ready for it and I wasn’t. I got made aware of that last year when we played Scotland at home and we were 30 points up and ended up drawing 38-38.
“We went away and Eddie picked my game apart. I threw a pass out the back for the try that drew the game, but I also missed some tackles that got them back into the game.
“I wasn’t fit enough back then, but I went away and worked on my game relentlessly.
“He’s been a very harsh critic of mine behind closed doors and I appreciate that. I need that.
“We’ve had our spats. We’ve had our arguments about what he thinks is going bad and what is going good. You take that stuff personally.
“If you don’t, you are probably in the wrong line of work. But it’s been good for me. I’ve gone away and worked on my game and it’s come to fruition.
“I’m by no means the finished article. I’m just looking forward to getting better and I’m happy under Eddie.”
Six Nations officials are speaking to the Scottish and English unions after Jones’ right-hand man Neil Craig was struck by a plastic beer bottle as the players and backroom staff entered the stadium.
Genge rails against what he believes is the hypocrisy of hostility being acceptable at Murrayfield.
“I’ll tell you for a fact, if that happened at Twickenham – which it never does – we’d be getting called ‘English this and English that, can’t believe the lack of respect from the English, X, Y and Z’,” he said.
“But it happens away at Murrayfield and everyone is happy about it, saying ‘it’s good for the game’.”