‘He could beat three defenders in a phone box’: Henry Arundell backed to deliver Six Nations fireworks
Henry Arundell has been backed to bring his wow-factor attacking game to England’s Six Nations campaign.
The 20-year-old has earned a recall after just 30 minutes of competitive rugby with London Irish following his return from a foot injury.
New England boss Steve Borthwick underlined his faith in the three-cap wing by drawing him straight back into the 36-man training squad, ahead of Sunday’s Twickenham clash against Italy.
Exiles defence coach Brad Davis revealed how Arundell’s instinctive play stops Irish training sessions in their tracks, with the young tyro leaving his club-mates gobsmacked.
“We’re not going to teach Henry how to use footwork or how to evade people, because he does all that naturally,” said Davis.
“He could beat three defenders in a phone box, he’s got that much natural ability. He just does things in training that no one else can, so much so that sometimes you’ve just got to stand there and say, ‘Oh, wow, there you go’.
“The biggest excitement for me with Henry, though, is how much he can still develop. Elements like positional play, in both attack and defence, those are the sorts of areas where he can focus to get even better. There are a lot of situations he has not faced yet, either, whether at club or Test level.
“That’s all part of a process young players go through, so that’s about us as a club and a nation understanding that it’s still a learning curve for Henry, and we’ve got to embrace that. But he wants to become better, he wants to work hard every day.”
Fit-again backline duo Arundell and Henry Slade are back in an England squad coming to terms with Saturday’s 29-23 defeat by Scotland.
Borthwick has been at the helm for just one match, but already the RFU have extended the state of flux with further backroom staff changes.
Leicester’s interim head coach Richard Wigglesworth will take the attack-coach responsibility from Nick Evans in the summer, with head of performance Aled Walters also trading Welford Road for Twickenham.
Richard Cockerill will relinquish his scrum-coach role to join Montpellier as forwards coach, leaving another vacancy to fill in Borthwick’s evolving set-up.
Saracens’ Ian Peel is among the main targets, though Borthwick could raid old club Leicester yet again, with Tigers scrum coach Tom Harrison under consideration.