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'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'

Irish expectation soars as Andy Farrell's team sweeps all in its path, but cool heads are needed if they are to heed mistakes of the past

The post-tour change Irish have seen in new England cap Arundell

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Will Russell/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Declan Kidney had given his verdict on what becoming a newly capped England player has done for the teenage Henry Arundell now that he is back at London Irish. The 19-year-old brewed up a storm towards the end of the 2021/22 season, showcasing his potency in the Gallagher Premiership and then scoring a wonder European Challenge Cup try away at Toulon.


That glimpse of talent was enough to persuade England boss Eddie Jones to select him for the senior tour to Australia and he went on to get capped three times off the bench, even scoring on his debut appearance in Perth.

Arundell only experienced a total of 26 minutes of Test rugby but Kidney explained that being in and around the England environment has given the youngster every incentive to now go on and start the club season well at London Irish to ensure he earns another Test squad invite for the upcoming Autumn Nations Series in November.

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“He has got confidence in the way he has come back,” said Kidney to RugbyPass at the official launch of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership season. “He gained out of that tour, he gained by seeing what it takes.

“If he had gone on the U20s tour (with England) he would have played more minutes, so he needs a combination of both. It is like any young man who goes on tour and the good thing is he got a few minutes but he didn’t get a lot so he is hungry.”


Arundell made ten Premiership and Challenge Cup appearances last term for Irish in his breakthrough season, along with another four games in the Premiership Cup which culminated in an appearance in the final versus Worcester. Much of what was seen from the teenager was highlights reel stuff and Irish boss Kidney is now looking forward to finding out in the coming months what an average Arundell performance is like.


“He is a player who has still only got 400 minutes under his belt, so he is doing exceptionally well. He had an injury two and a half years ago that would have knocked most people back for a long time but he managed to work his way through that, come back into the game and play.

“He is a very level-headed young man but the bottom line is he still has only played 400 minutes of first-team rugby. He needs to play more and he will have some Irish games and they are the ones that in some ways I am really looking forward to, seeing how good his average game is.”


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