England prop Ellis Genge is “buzzing” to be back working alongside Steve Borthwick – but has vowed to “kick on and create something new” ahead of his country’s Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland.
Under Borthwick’s tutelage at Leicester, Genge, 27, skippered the Tigers to last season’s Premiership title – nine years after they were last crowned kings of the English domestic game.
Borthwick transformed Leicester’s fortunes in just two seasons as head coach and he has now been tasked with reversing England’s slump following the dismissal of Eddie Jones.
Kevin Sinfield followed Borthwick from Leicester as defence coach, while Tigers tighthead Dan Cole, 35, is back in the England set-up after three years away.
“But what’s unspoken is that we don’t want to rekindle that Leicester relationship. We want to kick on and create something new.
“We haven’t been speaking about the good old days, even though it was only last year. We’ve been trying to kick on and master what we’re trying to do here.”
Borthwick, who played his entire professional career at Bath and Saracens, amassed 57 caps for England and served as captain for the last two years of his time as an international.
On Saturday, the 43-year-old will be given his first taste as England head coach in the Calcutta Cup before the World Cup in France later this year.
It comes 13 years after his last appearance on the international stage as a player – also against Scotland in the Six Nations.
Genge, capped 43 times by his country, having made his debut in 2016, added: “When he (Borthwick) was captain for England, it probably didn’t end the way he wanted it to end.
“He spoke really well in the meeting the other day. When you hear a coach who has been in that role, numerous times, and ended up captain and then having it taken away from him, you know he really understands.
“A lot of coaches always say you’ve got to be better at this, got to be better at that. And Steve does that, but he looks at your super strength and says, ‘That is what I want you to be incredible at’.
“He doesn’t shout, he doesn’t bawl, he’s not one of those that’s going to hang you out to dry in front of people. Don’t get me wrong, he will do if he needs to. But most of the time he speaks calmly and he knows what he’s trying to get across and he makes a very good point of doing that.”
Genge concluded: “I don’t think we’re a desperate team but we are extremely keen (to get back out there).
“Eddie is an absolutely world-class coach. Rightly or wrongly, the regime has been changed. Whether or not it was on the back of that performance against South Africa, I can’t speak on that.
“But what I can tell you is that we’ve had a great week’s preparation, and we’re excited to move forward.”