Wales prop Francis expects mind games from England’s Genge

Wales prop Tomas Francis is expecting “mind games” if he is to scrum down against England’s Ellis Genge in the Six Nations at the weekend but is determined to ignore them.

With the teams for Saturday’s clash at Twickenham yet to be named, it is not sure who Francis will scrum down against but he said on Tuesday he was ready for whatever challenge he faces.

“From Genge you always get those mind games, he likes to try and get at you that way. He’s playing well at Leicester. (Joe) Marler is playing well, as well, and Bevan (Rodd) has come through and put up his hand as well,” Francis told a news conference.

“So whoever is there, is going to be a tough challenge and it’s a big pack to go up against, but as a tighthead that’s what I relish and look forward to and whoever it is, I’ll give my best against.

“It’s just a throwaway comment. it’s just part of (Genge’s) game. It’s something (England lock) Jonny Hill told me. I just focus on me being me and let him be him, to be honest.

“Playing the English is always a massive game and luckily we got the win last week, which has kept the tournament alive for us.”

Defending champions Wales lost their opening game of this year’s competition in Ireland before narrowly beating Scotland.

“It kept our hopes alive. It’s a tough, tough tournament and if you lose the first two you haven’t got as much motivation and there is a bit less drive in the squad,” Francis added.

“But we put on a good performance after a poor start and now to go down there (Twickenham) and have a crack at them, is a great opportunity.”

Francis, 29, said England’s 33-0 win over Italy in Rome on Feb 13 had impressed him and he thought they were also unlucky to lose their opening game to Scotland at Murrayfield.

“They’re a young team who’ve got plenty of flair and plenty of firepower. But every team this year seems to be a good team and every game a good challenge,” he added.

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