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Matt O’Connor confirms Ellis Genge will miss the start of the season for Leicester Tigers

Leicester’s preparations for the new season has been dealt a bitter blow as Matt O’Connor confirmed Ellis Genge will not be fit for the first round of the new Gallagher Premiership season.

Issues in the pack for the Tigers head coach have also seen lock forward Graham Kitchener become a casualty who, along with Genge, underwent surgery this summer.

The loosehead prop was part of the England squad which toured South Africa in June but returned home before the third Test after picking up a knee problem.

Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “Gengey has had the operation and everything went well from that point of view. He’s well into his rehab work now and then he’ll start fitness work and building up to play again.

“But he will miss the first phase of the season and we’re probably looking at him playing again in the new year at this stage. But he’s working hard on his recovery and will be god to go when he comes through that rehab.

“It is obviously very disappointing for him and for us, but I’m sure he’ll be raring to go once he gets back to full fitness and we know there’s still a lot to come from him.”

Leicester begin the season with a trip to Sandy Park to play Exeter Chiefs in the first round and O’Connor said Kitchener faces a race to be ready come September 1.

“Kitch carried a bit of an issue in his hip for a while but he’s had that repaired and we’re looking to get him over the line in time for the first round of the new season,” added the Australian.

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