England's Genge to return to Bristol

London (AFP) – England prop Ellis Genge will return to the Bristol Bears next season after five years with Leicester.


The 26-year-old announced on Wednesday he would be leaving the Tigers despite an impressive start to the season in his first campaign as captain.

A product of Bristol's academy, Genge played 28 times for the Bears before moving to Leicester.

He has since become a vital member of Eddie Jones' England side, winning 31 caps.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam said Genge had even taken a pay cut to return to the club.

"Ellis is a World Class player who has grown to be a leader on and off the field for club and country," Lamb said in a statement.

"The thing that impressed me most about Ellis was his genuine love for Bristol and our people. Even while at Tigers, he remained invested in the community here.

"The fact that Ellis has taken a significant pay cut to come back home emphasises his commitment to his family and wanting to inspire our Bristol Community, which is central to our Bears vision."

Genge said he had "unfinished business" at Ashton Gate.

"I have close relationships at the Bears and I've got unfinished business here – so it's important for me to be able to come back and represent Bristol and play my role in the community," he said.

Bristol topped the Premiership table at the end of the regular season in 2020/21 before missing out on a first title in the playoffs.

But they are second bottom with just three wins from nine games this season, while Leicester are storming clear at the top of the table with a perfect record.