Knowle West rugby star up for award

World class Rugby player Ellis Genge.

World class Rugby player Ellis Genge.

A world class rugby star who grew up in Knowle West has been nominated for a Bristol Sports award.

Eillis Genge (20) will find out at a gala night at the Bristol Marriot on 22 October if he has won Male Sports Personality of the Year in the Bristol Post awards.

Ellis who plays the position of prop says: “I’m delighted to be nominated and put forward for the award.”

The former pupil of Ilminster Avenue Nursery and Knowle Park School, helped the Under-20s win the Six Nations this year and reach the final of the World Cup in Italy.

He told the Knowledge: “It was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot while I was away for a month.”

Ellis grew up in Andover Road, moving at the age of eight to Hillcrest Road in Knowle until he was 14.

He started to play rugby from the age of 12, training at Old Reds in Brislington where he was spotted by Bristol Rugby Academy and went to development camps to train until 16 when he attended Hartpury College in Gloucester.  Last year he played in the Championships for his hometown club before being selected to play for England.

He says: “When I was picked this year for the squad I was so excited, I rang my mum and dad straight away to tell them.”

Ellis has happy memories of growing up in Knowle West and still comes back to see his friends here “every couple of days”.

His advice to other youngsters hoping to take up a sport is to “stick at it, don’t follow the crowd.”

He explains: “I was told countless times I’d never make it in rugby. If you think you can do a sport and make something of it, keep going and don’t listen to anyone else.”