Eddie Jones compares England new boy Henry Arundell to Matt Giteau

Arundell has been fast-tracked into England’s 36-man training squad that will gather in London for three days from Sunday

Duncan Bech
Tuesday 17 May 2022 13:31
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Henry Arundell (left) has been called into a senior England squad for the first time (Simon Marper/PA)
Henry Arundell (left) has been called into a senior England squad for the first time (Simon Marper/PA)

Henry Arundell’s attacking instincts have drawn a comparison with Australia great Matt Giteau after Eddie Jones picked the London Irish flyer for the first time.

Arundell has been fast-tracked into England’s 36-man training squad that will gather in London for three days from Sunday to make initial preparations for the 19 June appointment with the Barbarians.

The 19-year-old has impressed through his devastating running from full-back that has produced length-of-the-field tries for Irish and England Under-20 in what is his debut season.

Twelve appearances for the Exiles, only five of them starts, have offered enough evidence for Jones to place him in contention for the pre-Australia warm-up fixture at Twickenham against the Barbarians.

“We watched him during the England Under-20s and he was impressive,” said Jones, who gave Test centurion Giteau his debut in 2002 when Wallabies coach.

“He’s got exceptional pace. He probably reminds me a lot of Matt Giteau in terms of his desire to attack. Not the way he plays, but his desire to attack.

“I was particularly impressed when I went to see him play against Wasps. The ball was kicked to him and he knocked it on cold, so it wasn’t a great start.

“There’s all this hoo-ha about him being a fantastic player and he knocks the ball on cold.

“Next ball he gets a long pass, sees back space, chips and scores and that’s the sort of mindset you want to see from young players who want to take on the game. So that’s impressive, along with his pace.”

Harry Arundell (right) has shown his sensational running skills for London Irish in the Premiership and Europe (Adam Davy/PA)

Arundell is among 10 uncapped players included in a squad that sees several senior internationals omitted, but others return after missing the Six Nations.

Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Joe Cokanasiga and Jack Willis are present after spells out through injury, but the the likes of Henry Slade, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler have been stood down from this camp.

Farrell and Tuilagi were key absentees as England slumped to another disappointing Six Nations but they have recovered from their respective ankle and hamstring injuries and have been in regular action for Saracens and Sale respectively.

“It’s been a tough period for Owen. It started with his club being relegated and he had a tough time playing then and has had a number of injuries. It’s good to see him back and fit,” Jones said.

“But he’s back playing, been consistently good for his club and is and part of the reason why Saracens have progressed so far in Europe and are obviously doing well in the Premiership.

“I caught up with Manu last night (Monday) in Manchester. He was looking very fit and enthusiastic. He really wants to make an imprint on this Australia tour.

“Our job with Sale is to get him physically right and ready to go. We want a revolution, not an evolution. It’s all about finding out what’s right for him. He’s slowly learning what he needs to do.”

A surprise inclusion is Mako Vunipola, the Saracens prop who was part of a cull of senior players prior to the autumn.

“No door’s ever been closed on a player. Players select or deselect themselves,” Jones said.

“While Mako has been out injured, his play before that was exceptional and we want to have a look at him to see if he can add to the team.”

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