Genge's comic turn falls flat at Rugby World Cup

Wednesday October 09 2019

England's coach Eddie Jones (left) speaks with prop Ellis Genge in a training session during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup, in Tokyo on October 9, 2019. PHOTO | WILLIAM WEST |



England's Ellis Genge went from "baby rhino" to wannabe comedian at the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday - only for his prized joke to bomb spectacularly.

When the Leicester prop was asked by a French journalist whether the England players had a favourite song or joke to fire them up before this weekend's Pool C clash against their bitter rivals, he looked bemused.

"We've got a song we sing at the end of the game," said Genge, who was once described by a television commentator as charging "like a baby rhino with a dart up its backside" after flattening former England captain Dylan Hartley in the Premiership.

"We'll keep that to ourselves. We stand up on the bus and do jokes before training - do you want one?"

Having built himself up, there was no turning back as England and Leicester teammate Dan Cole whispered: "Give him a joke."



Genge unwisely launched two-footed into a comedy debut that should really never have happened.

"I was an entrepreneur before started playing rugby," he dead-panned.

"I invented the cold-air balloon, but it never really took off!"

A little like his joke - and the proverbial tumbleweed drifted across a room full of media, many of them British.

"Tough crowd!" winced flanker Lewis Ludlam.

"They don't get it," shrugged Genge as an England official mercifully called a swift end to proceedings.