Ellis Genge: England and Leicester prop not expecting British and Irish Lions call-up

Ellis Genge has played down his chances of a British and Irish Lions call-up after receiving no contact from Warren Gatland or his management team.

Over 50 players are believed to have been contacted via email, asking whether they were available for selection.

Gatland names his squad to tour South Africa on Thursday but Genge isn’t expected to be included.

“No, nothing. My emails are broken,” Genge joked when asked if he had been contacted by the Lions.

“I’m getting my carpets cleaned on Thursday and the tv’s in that room, so I won’t be in there. Is the announcement on telly? I don’t know how it works. I’ve obviously never been picked, thanks for bringing it up.

“I’ll have my phone with me. If someone texts me and they know before I do, then brilliant. But I haven’t had any emails.”

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Genge’s England and Leicester team-mate Ben Youngs was contacted by the Lions but made himself unavailable for selection as his wife is pregnant with their third child.

Genge has a seven-month-old son but hopes his family would understand that he would tour with the Lions if given the chance.

“It’s a once-in-a-career opportunity, or three-in-a-career if you’re Ben Youngs,” he said.

“Ben has pulled out for obvious reasons and it takes a lot of courage to give up on something like that. I spoke to him about it.

“On the flip side of that, I probably feel the same way as him in that I don’t want to leave my kids, but I’d be willing to make that sacrifice if I was given the opportunity.”

Genge has been tipped for selection by former Lions captain Sam Warburton after he helped Leicester reach the European Challenge Cup final.

“It means nothing unless you get picked,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. My old man would have me as captain if he could, but he doesn’t pick the squad. None of the outside noise matters.

“Do I feel I’m at a level where I’ve put my hands up for selection? I’ve not thought about it. While I’m playing for Leicester I’m not doing stuff to get picked. I want to win games and trophies for Leicester. That’s my goal and we have an opportunity to do that now [in the Challenge Cup final].”

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