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RFU statement: Henry Arundell and 2024 Six Nations

By PA
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Henry Arundell is set to be available for England’s Six Nations campaign next year, with the Rugby Football Union hopeful he will make a swift return to the Gallagher Premiership.

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Arundell signed for French side Racing 92 when London Irish went into administration, placing a question mark over his eligibility for selection by Steve Borthwick.

RFU policy is that players at overseas clubs can only be picked in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and Arundell’s situation is considered to be in that bracket for a period of 12 months from the date Irish collapsed.

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Eddie Jones post-match presser after final match

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Eddie Jones post-match presser after final match

But the electric 20-year-old wing, who plundered five tries in the World Cup match against Chile last month, would have to return to the Premiership for the 2024-25 season if he is to be considered after that.

It is a different story for Jack Willis, however, as his decision to re-sign with Toulouse in the wake of his emergency move from Wasps – who also went bust – means he will not be allowed to take part in the Six Nations.

“Any players who went abroad as an outcome of their clubs going out of business and who needed to find employment overseas as a result will be available for the Six Nations in 2024,” RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said.

“We want the best English players playing in England. In Henry’s case, he will be available for the 2024 Six Nations and then we will work very hard with him and with the Premiership, so that hopefully he can get a contract to come back to England.”

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The RFU expects to have Arundell’s availability signed off by the Professional Game Board in the coming weeks.

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Willis was ruled out of the World Cup last week because of a neck injury and RFU executive director of performance rugby Conor O’Shea confirmed that, because the flanker’s 12-month period from Wasps going out of business had elapsed when he agreed fresh terms with Toulouse, he is off limits for Borthwick.

Meanwhile, Sweeney refuses to draw satisfaction from Australia crashing out of the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Eddie Jones took over the Wallabies as head coach, having been sacked from the same role with England in December, but his short reign has been a disaster and he has already faced questions over his future.

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“We don’t take any particular joy or enjoyment out of Australia’s current situation,” Sweeney said.

“We also need to show a little bit of respect for Eddie – he was England’s longest-serving coach on seven years.

“We had three Six Nations Championship with him, a Grand Slam, and he took us to a Rugby World Cup final.

“We don’t take any pleasure whatsoever at what they’re going through at the moment.”

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Red and White Dynamight 2 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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