Leicester Tigers star Ellis Genge has spoken about the “horrible” moment when he saw Italy flanker Sebastian Negri choking on the floor in England’s Guinness Six Nations victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Negri was hurt during a second-half collision with Nick Isiekwe and, after Genge alerted medics to the gravity of the situation, he received lengthy treatment before being driven from the pitch on a motorised cart.
Italy have announced that Negri sustained “head trauma” and he will now follow the return-to-play protocols for concussion.
“I heard him choking so I gave him a slap to see if he reacted,” Genge said.
“He just carried on choking so I didn’t know if he had swallowed his tongue – that’s why I tried to roll him on to his side.
“I’m not a master in medicine, but I’m pretty sure you are supposed to put them in the recovery position so I tried to do that. I was quickly ushered away by the medics so I let them just carry on.
“It’s horrible when that happens. I don’t know Seb very well personally, but a lot of my friends played at Hartpury College with him and apparently he’s a lovely bloke.
“He’d just come on and he’s a big player for them and for that to happen wasn’t nice to see.
"I hope he’s well. I really do. I really don’t like seeing people being hurt like that.
“When you are on the pitch you think rugby is the be-all and end-all, but you are definitely brought back down to earth quickly and realise reality when something like that happens.”
Negri used social media to thank Genge for his speedy intervention.
“Thank you so much @EllisGenge appreciate all you did. You are a top man.
"All good this side and feeling a lot better wishing you and all the @EnglandRugby lads all the best for the rest of the @SixNationsRugby. Catch up with you soon, Safe travels back home today,” Negri tweeted.