Henry Arundell to make full Test debut for England as Owen Farrell returns to face Ireland in Six Nations
Henry Arundell will make his full Test debut in England’s Six Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
The London Irish speedster has replaced Max Malins in England’s starting line-up, for what will be his seventh cap but first England start.
Captain Owen Farrell returns to the starting line-up at fly-half, with Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade pairing up in the centres.
The Exiles’ 20-year-old flier Arundell burst onto the scene in 2021, later scoring a wonder try with his first touch in Test rugby on England’s 2022 tour of Australia.
The former Harrow School pupil missed England’s full autumn campaign with a foot problem, that eventually had to be solved with surgery in December. Arundell then found full fitness ahead of schedule to be available for the Six Nations campaign.
Steve Borthwick selecting Arundell to face Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in their Aviva Stadium fortress represents perhaps the greatest backing the new England head coach could afford the young gun.
England must hit back from Saturday’s 53-10 record home defeat at the hands of France, while also facing the world’s top-ranked Test team.
“We know that after the bitter disappointment of the display against an exceptional France team last week we will have to be much improved to meet the challenge of playing the side presently ranked number one in the world,” said England boss Borthwick.
“I have witnessed an England squad determined to make amends for the defeat at Twickenham, and I am confident that the team announced today will once again want to show the sort of resilience and attitude that brought us victory in Wales.”
Northampton lock David Ribbans has replaced the injured Ollie Chessum in the engine room, with Tuilagi into the centres after Ollie Lawrence’s hamstring problem.
England XV: F Steward; A Watson, H Slade, M Tuilagi, H Arundell; O Farrell (capt), J Van Poortvliet; E Genge, J George, K Sinckler; M Itoje, D Ribbans; L Ludlam, J Willis, A Dombrandt.
Replacements: J Walker, M Vunipola, D Cole, N Isiekwe, B Curry, A Mitchell, M Smith, J Marchant.