That is the verdict of inspired team-mate Lewis Ludlam, who has hailed Genge’s progress from “mad-dog” teenager to the complete Test-match animal.
Bristol prop Genge will become just England’s third black or mixed-race captain in this weekend’s Six Nations clash, following Courtney Lawes and Jason Robinson.
Genge grew up on Bristol’s Knowle West council estate and found himself in strife at times at the city’s John Cabot Academy school, before flourishing in rugby at Hartpury College.
Northampton flanker Ludlam praised Genge for making rugby’s grade without the private school trappings so often associated with a route into the sport.
Genge’s ex-Hartpury College coach, Alan Martinovic, hailed a “remarkable achievement” that will delight his family.
Ludlam said: “Ellis will be hissing and he will have us hissing for him. The fact that he has come from where he has, and he now has the opportunity to captain his country this weekend, in front of all his family and all the people back home, he’s got a chance to make a lot of people proud.
“We want to make it a special day for him, because we know how hard he’s worked to get to the position he’s in.”
Ludlam remembers facing Genge in a school match where the future England captain ruffled more than a few feathers.
The 28-year-old merits great respect for bringing the raw emotion of his youth under full control, to the point where he will take the captaincy against France, with regular skipper Owen Farrell starting from the bench.
“I remember playing against Gengey when we were 14. I remember him as a bit of a loose cannon, he was a mad dog,” said Ludlam. “He played No8 and I played openside, and he was running over the top of people. It actually kicked off, and there were parents screaming on the side of the pitch.
“He’s always been emotional and aggressive, but his ability to control that now and use it in the right way, it’s a real talent.
“He has that horrible doggedness inside him when he’s on the pitch — but his ability to bring himself down and get the messages across in the week has been really impressive.”
Martinovic will always remember the odd raised eyebrow when he installed Genge as captain of the Hartpury Under-18s. No one is cutting a quizzical glance now.
“I had no doubt back then that he was a great leader of men, and I have no doubt about him leading England now either,” he said.