Ellis Genge admits he has Leicester Tigers’ teammates Marcos Ayerza and Dan Cole to thank after scooping the Land Rover Discovery of the Season prize at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards.
The 22-year-old beat Sale Sharks flyer Denny Solomona, Harlequins centre Joe Marchant, Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Jack Maunder, and Bath Rugby duo Zach Mercer and Tom Ellis to the prize, receiving his accolade at the glittering London Lancaster Hotel ceremony.
Genge, who helped Leicester finish fourth this season, already has one England cap to his name, with more set to come after becoming a fierce front-row destroyer in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
But the prop, who became a permanent Welford Road face 12 months ago, believes he owes his honour to other men in Tigers’ ranks after a flourishing season at the front of the scrum.
“It’s good to have been at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards, it’s always nice to join up with the boys and I’m really pleased to have won the award,” he said.
“Marcos got a horrible injury at the back end of last season and I’ve probably just clawed on to the back of that.
“In a lot of sports it’s about being in the right place at the right time, so I continued to work hard, got thrown in at the deep end and luckily I came out paddling.
“Marcos has been on my shoulder the whole time and helped me lot. It’s the same with Dan Cole, I’ve been playing with him week in, week out, and they’ve definitely been there for me.
“People come here to Aviva Premiership Rugby, and the level of scrummaging in the league is so high. Northern hemisphere players really appreciate scrummaging, and some of the Southern hemisphere props that come over are really looking for the test.”