Tomas Francis insists he is ready for Ellis Genge’s ‘mind games’ ahead of crunch Six Nations clash with England as Welsh prop lifts lid on plans to keep Marcus Smith at bay
- Tomas Francis insists he will be ready for Ellis Genge’s ‘mind games’ on Saturday
- Wales must win at Twickenham to keep their Six Nations hopes alive
- Francis is set to go head-to-head with Genge and is ready for the mental test
- The prop also insists that the Welsh have a plan to keep Marcus Smith quiet
Tomas Francis has vowed he’ll be ready for Ellis Genge’s ‘mind games’ as Wales revealed they have developed a special plan to try and stop England wonderkid Marcus Smith at Twickenham.
Wayne Pivac’s side know they must win a Six Nations match in London for the first time in 10 years this weekend if they are to keep their title defence alive.
Prop Francis is set to go head-to-head with England’s Genge and said: ‘Playing England is always a massive game. From Genge, you’ve always got those mind games.
Tomas Francis (left) has vowed to be ready for Ellis Genge’s (right) mind games this weekend
‘He likes to try and get into you that way. I try not to engage in it. It’s part of his game.
‘I’ll let him do that and I’ll do me. He (Genge) has got a leadership role at Leicester and seems to be thriving in that. He’s become a world-class loosehead over the years.’
The enigmatic Genge – now Leicester captain – has developed into a key figure for England head coach Eddie Jones and produced a standout performance in their round two win over Italy in Rome.
Alongside fly-half Smith, he is a certain starter at Twickenham in what is a win-or-bust Championship clash for both sides.
Skills coach Neil Jenkins revealed Wales have a couple of tricks up their sleeve in a bid to try and keep the creative genius of Smith at bay.
Wales must beat England at Twickenham to keep their Six Nations hopes alive on Saturday
‘Marcus is a fantastic talent,’ said Jenkins, who worked with Smith on last summer’s British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa.
‘His all-round game is exceptional. He’s a young kid, but plays as if he’s been around for 10 to 15 years. It’s not easy (to stop him), obviously. There are a couple of things we have in mind.
‘Rushing up on him is a no go because he just picks you off and that’s what he wants. He’s a very talented player who seems to have a lot of time on the ball.
‘He’s a big threat to us and one we’ll have to keep a close eye on. It’s a big defensive week for us.’ Wales have Bath No 8 Taulupe Faletau, back Josh Adams and centre Uilisi Halaholo all available to face England as they reported a clean bill of health for the trip to Twickenham on Tuesday.
England have revealed they are ‘going after Wales’ this weekend after confirming Manu Tuilagi, Courtney Lawes, Jack Nowell and Sam Simmonds are all fit for the Twickenham clash.
Francis claims that the Welsh have a plan to keep wonderkid Marcus Smith quiet in London
Jones is set to unleash juggernaut centre Tuilagi after he proved his fitness with Sale after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered on Test duty against South Africa last autumn.
Forward Lawes – who missed the opening two rounds of the Six Nations with a concussion – is also poised to return to the England side and is in line to reclaim the captaincy from Tom Curry.
‘It’s a massive game for us. We are treating it like a quarter-final,’ said England attack coach Martin Gleeson.
‘It’s a knock-out stage for us. We are going after Wales this week.
‘If we don’t get the result, we are out. We are going out there with an attacking plan.