'We said we were building, but nobody believed it' - England's Ellis Genge

Ellis Genge feels the win against Argentina will add to their confidence
Ellis Genge feels the win against Argentina will add to their confidence

England prop Ellis Genge has hit back at the critics following his team's 27-10 win over Argentina in the Rugby World Cup opener in Marseille on Saturday.

England since Steve Borthwick took over from Eddie Jones early in the year had a fifth place finish in the Six Nations tournament and followed with three defeats in the four warm-up games leading to the tournament.

The string of defeats also saw them slip to the eighth position in the World Rugby Rankings with the critics playing down their chances in the showpiece event but they made a strong comeback with the win over the Pumas last weekend.

The victory came despite them losing Tom Curry to red card in the 4th minute but George Ford, starting in the absence of Owen Farrell showed his masterclass kicking three drop goals and six penalties to steer them to a winning start in the campaign.

“We said we were building, but nobody believed it,” he said.

“I know it’s hard from the outside – I support Bristol Rovers so I know how it feels when you’re not getting results. When that happens it’s always ‘this is the worst ever, everything has to change’.

“But when you’re in a team 24 hours a day, seven days a week for three months, you know where you are and where you’re going. It doesn’t take a genius, and I’m definitely not a genius.

“You’ve got to burn the ships. Then all you can do is double down.”

Borthwick's men will now be facing Japan, Chile and Samoa in the remainder of the opening round and Genge said the squad is upbeat about their chances in the competition.

“I want to win the World Cup. And I believe we can. Of course, I do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here,” the prop added.

“This is where everybody gets things wrong. It’s all, ‘Right, you beat Argentina’ and people celebrating, saying, ‘unbelievable win, unbelievable.’

“But it’s about consistency, doing the same thing every week. That is what we’re aiming for. Not being relieved [to win here]. We want to win the tournament."