Eddie Jones says London Irish star Henry Arundell’s resolve has impressed him as much as his blistering pace after calling teenager up to England training squad: ‘That’s the sort of mindset you want to see from young players’
- Henry Arundell’s positivity of youth has impressed England coach Eddie Jones
- His length-of-the-field try against Toulon has shot him to national prominence
- Eddie Jones says he reminds him of Matt Giteau, the legendary Australian player
Eddie Jones has compared England’s new rookie sensation with an Australian legend, as he acclaimed Henry Arundell for impressing him with his fearlessness of youth.
As forecast last month by Sportsmail, London Irish’s teenage full back was fast-tracked into the senior England squad on Tuesday for a training camp in the capital next week.
Arundell has shot to prominence recently — notably for a length-of-the-field try in Toulon — but national coach Jones revealed that it was his positive attitude which caught the eye.
Henry Arundell of London Irish has impressed England boss Eddie Jones with his positivity
In doing so, he likened the turbo-charged 19-year-old to a prodigy he knew during his time in charge of the Wallabies.
‘He’s got exceptional pace and probably reminds me a lot of Matt Giteau — not the way he plays, but his desire to attack,’ Jones said, after naming a squad of 36 featuring 10 uncapped players.
‘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.
Arundell (above – crossing over against Wasps) blew himself to national recognition with a stunning try against Toulon
Eddie Jones has called up 10 uncapped players to senior England squad for the training camp
‘Next, he gets a long pass, sees space, chips and scores. That’s the sort of mindset you want to see from young players. The try against Toulon didn’t impress me because they (Toulon defenders) all looked like they were running with rubber bands round their legs! No, it impressed me, but it was the try against Wasps, after he made that mistake — that attitude of, “I’ve got to get back into this game” — because if a young bloke drops a ball like that, he can go into his shell.’
Jones acknowledged that Arundell is unproven and is keen to assess him at close quarters.
Henry Arundell’s mindset in recovering from a knock-on encouraged Jones to pick him
‘There could be something good about him but we don’t know what his desire is, what his work ethic is like, what his mental resilience is like,’ he added.
‘From what I know of him — and I’ve met him once, very briefly — he has good attributes. But we will only see that on the three days of training, then he has 12 months to find his feet. He has been on our radar for eight months. The coaches mentioned he was someone we should have a look at. We’ve got pathway coaches, got all the information from them.
‘I’ve been out to visit London Irish and chatted to their coaches — so we’ve got a picture of him. But the best way to find out with players is to work with them.’
Meanwhile, Jones declared his undiminished enthusiasm for his job, despite another dire Six Nations campaign. ‘When you don’t win, it’s normal to be criticised — to be under fire a little bit,’ he said. ‘I find that a normal part of coaching.
‘When you are young, you want everyone to think you are good. As you get older, you realise that’s not going to be the case. So the important thing is to focus on your coaching, on the process of getting better. I love coaching. Coaching is my passion, my job. It is what I love doing.’
Arundell’s positivity through his youth encouraged Jones to hand him a call-up
Having been backed by his employers to continue through to next year’s World Cup, Jones is ready to embrace the challenge of a summer tour of Australia, knowing that his team is expected to launch a swift revival.
‘The support (from the RFU) has been first class, but my responsibility is to win,’ he said. ‘In this job, there’s always pressure, there’s pressure to win in Australia, but that’s all right.’
Meanwhile, Dan Biggar will retain the Wales captaincy for their summer tour of South Africa despite the return of 150-cap legend Alun Wyn Jones from injury. George North is also back in Wayne Pivac’s squad after more than a year out with a knee injury.