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Teen sensation Henry Arundell named in 36-man England squad

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Eddie Jones has named a 36-man squad – including uncapped London Irish pair Henry Arundell and Will Joseph and the fit-again Owen Farrell – for next week’s three-day mini-camp in London ahead of the July tour to Australia. England are heading away on the three-Test tour following their latest disappointing Guinness Six Nations campaign and Jones’ squad will train in London as they begin preparations for a schedule that also includes next month’s home game against the Barbarians on June 19.

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Joe Cokanasiga, Farrell, Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Watson all return to the squad following injury. Elsewhere there are first-time involvements in a senior squad for London Irish duo Arundell and Joseph, along with Leicester Tigers’ Jack van Poortvliet. There are ten uncapped players and seven with more than 50 caps, including a return for Mako Vunipola.

The 19-year-old Arundell’s burgeoning talent to create a try out of nothing went viral around the rugby world recently when he followed up a chip and chase score versus Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership with a remarkable solo effort from near his own Challenge Cup quarter-final goalline in Toulon. That form has prompted Jones to now move quickly and include the fast-emerging Arundell, an England U20 who is also eligible for Scotland and Wales, in his latest England Test squad.

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The Breakdown | Episode 13 | Sky Sport NZ
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The Breakdown | Episode 13 | Sky Sport NZ

It was last Friday when London Irish boss Declan Kidney revealed that Jones had visited the club’s training ground the previous week to run his eye over the teenager and a number of other potential young England picks at the Exiles.

“Eddie was over with the club last week and we went through a number of the players that we had and that is the comment that I am making, the fact that we had the English coach coming to London Irish to discuss a number of our players is a good thing for the club. Henry was one of them and we gave him out insights to that but Eddie is a strong enough person to make up his own mind as to what is the best for Henry’s development,” explained Kidney.

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It was nine weeks ago when England coach Jones last named a squad, choosing 34 players on March 14 ahead of that Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations finale away to France, and with no English clubs left in Europe, there were no restrictions to the latest Jones selection which shows multiple changes from two months ago. Of the forwards named that final week of the campaign in March, Jamie George, Nick Isiekwe, Joe Marler, Sam Simmonds and Kyle Sinckler miss out. Instead, the fit-again Tom Curry, the suspension-free Charlie Ewels, Lewis Ludlam, George McGuigan, Tom Pearson, Bevan Rodd and Vunipola have been called in. 

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In the backs, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Luke Northmore, Jack Nowell and Ben Youngs miss out with Arundell, Cokanasiga, Fraser Dingwall, Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Joseph, Tuilagi, van Poortvliet and Watson included.

Ten Premiership clubs make up the squad with Bath, Leicester and Northampton each having six players. Next comes Wasps, Sale, Harlequins, Saracens and London Irish with three each. Newcastle have two players included with Bristol providing one.

An RFU statement did suggest that with the Premiership season reaching its climax, Jones chose to rest some players for the training camp. The coach said: “We’re going to use this camp as an opportunity to prepare a base game for the Barbarians fixture and for a really important Australia tour. We will 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.

“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 are allowed a squad of 36 players, so it has been a balancing act.

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“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. These players will still be in contention for the Australia tour.”

ENGLAND SQUAD (London training camp May 22-24)
FORWARDS
Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps)
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 40 caps)
Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 9 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 30 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 56 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 70 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 93 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 11 caps)
George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 20 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 28 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 67 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 3 caps)

BACKS
Henry Arundell (London Irish, uncapped)
Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 94 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Will Joseph (London Irish, uncapped)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 6 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 10 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 46 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 51 caps)

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