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Henry Arundell is determined to forge his own path to rugby stardom amid comparisons with greats of the game such as David Campese and Bryan Habana.
Arundell produced one of the most dynamic debuts in English rugby history when scoring a try and helping to set up a second in the closing stages of Saturday’s 30-28 defeat by Australia.
The 19-year-old’s seven-minute cameo on the wing was a continuation of his explosive form for London Irish in his debut professional season, but at Perth’s Optus Stadium he announced his arrival to the world.
Eddie Jones compared his debut to that of Wallabies great Campese, while South Africa’s deadly finisher Habana and Wallabies genius Matt Giteau have also been referenced.
“They’re very high compliments. The compliments are great, but I’ve got to make sure I keep proving it,” said Arundell, who is set to be retained on the bench for Saturday’s second Test.
“Eddie drives that through the whole team – drive is improvement for yourself to keep getting better.
“It’s fun when you get the comparisons and stuff, but, at the end of the day, you have to be your own player and do your own thing.”
Arundell’s brother and dad jetted out to Perth to watch his debut and will also be present for the next instalment of the series in Brisbane this weekend.
“On a personal level and for my family as well, it was an incredible, incredible day. I didn’t think I’d ever do that type of thing, so I’m really excited about that, but there’s a bigger focus,” Arundell said.
“It’s great to score a try, but guys like Owen Farrell have almost played 100 Tests and that’s the goal for me, to be at that sort of level.
“Owen gave me one of his shirts after the game to say well done. There’s a mutual understanding that great, that’s happened, but the Test series is the main thing – and winning the World Cup next year.”