Lewis Ludlam approves “mad dog” promotion Ellis Genge with England After the captain recalled a flimsy battle against the Bristol prop as a teenager in school rugby.

Afterwards, the leadership task was given to Genge. Owen Farrell Landed on the bench for Saturday’s penultimate round of Guinness Six Nations Against France at Twickenham.

He’s completing the 28-year-old’s ascent from Bristol council estate to the top of the British game, and he has a teammate in Ludlam who will enjoy following him to ‘Le Crunch’.

“Ellis is a great captain. “He’s playing to his heart,” said Northampton winger Ludlam. “When he speaks, he is persuasive, people can stand behind him. He is someone you want to fight for, someone you want to fight for.

“He always puts his body in jeopardy and is a good friend of mine so the opportunity to follow him into battle is something I look forward to. I remember playing against him when I was 14 and he is not someone you would want to play against.

“It was a rabid dog. He was playing number eight, I was playing number seven. He was going over a few of the little ones.

“It actually started in the game. I remember being in it and there were parents screaming at the edge of the field!

“We’ve been playing against each other for a long time and we have a mutual respect for each other. Off the pitch we are very close, but when we play against each other, we often overpower each other.

“When we get a chance to wear the jersey together, he has my back and I have his. Let me know that this gives you a little extra to go and risk your body for him.

“The fact that you have someone who would almost die to win a game with you is exciting.”

Genge has become Britain’s most effective carrier and is the herd’s main source of tough pitches, but Ludlam sees his growing maturity as an equally important force.

“Ellis has always been emotional and aggressive, but the ability to control it now and use it properly is a real talent of his,” said Ludlam.

“He definitely controlled his emotions much, much better because I remember him being a bit of a punk ball.

“The impressive thing is that he knows when to open and when to close. You see him carrying the ball, there’s a terrible stubbornness in him and it’s very emotional.

“In between the gaps in the game, his ability to pull himself down and speak up and get his messages across is something really impressive, especially in the last three years.”