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Arundell tipped as World Cup bolter by former England stalwart

By Stefan Frost
Henry Arundell of England breaks with the ball during Under 20's Six Nations match between Scotland U20 v England U20 at DAM Health Stadium on February 04, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Mike Brown has tipped Henry Arundell to feature for England in the next World Cup after the London Irish winger produced a stunning solo try against Toulon in the Challenge Cup.

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Irish came out second best in that quarter final contest by only a point, but all anyone spoke about in the wake of the defeat was the scintillating attacking skill Arundell displayed when overtaking and evading half of the Toulon defence.

Speculation about the youngster’s international eligibility, which includes England, Scotland and Wales, has been inevitably rife ever since and Brown is just the latest to wax lyrical on the potential try of the season.

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“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There’s so much natural ability there,” Mike Brown wrote in a column for the MailOnline. “What’s so impressive is the way Arundell swerved at top speed, threw in some footwork, dropped his speed to almost a standstill and then went again.

“His deceleration and quick acceleration back to top speed is really impressive. You see a lot of unbelievably quick athletes who struggle to beat defenders at top speed.

“That body movement at pace is what set Christian Cullen apart from the rest. There aren’t many players in the world who move like that. He’s quick but he’s also strong, 96kg, with big legs.”

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Arundell is no stranger to scoring sublime solo efforts. Back in early February, when playing fullback for England U20s, he ran from his own try line to the opposite end of the field, leaving Scottish defenders in his dust.

Even though the winger’s career is still in its infancy, Brown has made a bold prediction for the heights which he could yet reach in an England shirt.

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“He could be England’s most exciting runner since Jason Robinson.

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“People question whether there’s still a place in the international game for running threats. Yes, there’s less time and space in the Test game, but there are still opportunities for moments of magic.”

Jonny May and Anthony Watson have tended to be pinups in Eddie Jones’ back three, but with both missing this year’s Six Nations with injuries, Brown believes there is a spot available for Arundell.

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Henry Arundell (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

“If you need a try at the end of the match, when the bodies are tired, he could be lethal.

“I could see him starting out as one of Jones’s ‘finishers’, and there’s no reason why he can’t push his way into the starting team over the next 12 months if he takes any opportunities he gets.

“I could see Arundell and Freddie Steward playing together in the back three in future.”

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