June 28, 2022

England call up London Irish flier Arundell

Henry Arundell on the way to scoring a spectacular try for England Under-20s
Arundell was one of England’s best performers in an under-20 Six Nations campaign that ended in a third-place finish

London Irish’s teenage full-back Henry Arundell is included in a 36-strong England training squad to prepare for July’s Test series against Australia.

The 19-year-old only made his Premiership debut in February but has scored 11 tries in 15 matches for Irish and England Under-20s this season.

Arundell’s club team-mate Will Joseph, the younger brother of former England centre Jonathan, is also called up.

Owen Farrell, who missed the Six Nations with an ankle injury, is back.

Leicester-bound Bath winger Anthony Watson also returns after an injury lay-off, while Saracens prop Mako Vunipola is recalled after falling out of favour and flanker Jack Willis, who suffered a serious knee injury against Italy in February 2021, is rewarded for his good form with Wasps.

Mako Vunipola
Vunipola, 31, made his last Test appearance as part of the British and Irish Lions side that lost to South Africa last summer

Leicester’s Jack van Poortvliet, 20, is another player to make the step up from England’s age-grade sides as he features alongside Harry Randall and Alex Mitchell as scrum-half options for head coach Eddie Jones.

Ben Youngs, along with the experienced trio of Henry Slade, Joe Marler and Jamie George, are rested.

Sale centre Manu Tuilagi and Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga, both powerful backline runners, are included.

The training camp will run from Sunday to Tuesday as England prepare for a meeting with the Barbarians on 19 June followed by Tests against the Wallabies in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney on successive weekends, beginning on 2 July.

“We’ll focus on how we want to play, how we want to be as a team off the field and continue to develop the squad cohesiveness and behaviours,” said Jones.

“It is also 16 months to the World Cup and every minute counts. We want a hard-working and enjoyable environment for the players and to make sure we are all on the same page.

“We want to take a look at some younger players and prepare a base camp for the Barbarians game, particularly as we will be without the Premiership finalists, and also give some senior players a rest as we get to a crucial part of the season.”

Irish trio promoted into limelight

Adding more pace to England’s attack is one of the priorities in the team’s development and a series of scorching scores, included a sensational length-of-the-pitch solo effort against Toulon earlier this month, have marked out Arundell for inclusion.

He also qualifies for Scotland and Wales and will do so until he makes a Test appearance for England.

Joseph, also 19, is an outside centre following in the footsteps of brother and Bath star Jonathan, who made the last of his own England appearance against Wales in November 2020.

Flanker Tom Pearson is the third uncapped Irish player to make the cut. The 22-year-old is the latest talent to emerge from Cardiff Metropolitan University, after Harlequins pair Alex Dombrandt and Luke Northmore.

England achieved their first-ever series win down under on their last visit in 2016 and beat Australia at Twickenham in November.

However, a disappointing Six Nations campaign, that featured three defeats from five matches, has left Jones and his side hunting fresh momentum.

England training squad

Forwards

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps)

Backs

Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

Source link