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Video: Arundell needs just seconds as a sub to craft wonder try

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

Teenage sensation Henry Arundell needed “no longer than about 40 seconds” off of the London Irish bench on Saturday to continue the solo heroics that took him all the way into an England Test jersey earlier this year. The 19-year-old burst onto the scene with his incredible pace and skill towards the end of the 2021/22 campaign at the Exiles, his try at Toulon in the Challenge Cup especially serving notice to the world that he is a genuinely potent talent despite his inexperience.

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After scoring seven tries in 14 appearances during his breakthrough season at London Irish,
Eddie Jones capped the rookie Arundell three times as a replacement in the England July series win away to Australia after he was instantly rewarded with a try within seconds of his debut-game introduction in Perth.

This hot scoring streak has now continued back at London Irish as Arundell scored two tries as a second-half replacement in their opening round Gallagher Premiership win over Worcester in Brentford.

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Irish led 19-0 when Arundell was introduced on 48 minutes and after play restarted with a scrum on the hosts’ 22-metre line, the ball was swiftly worked across the pitch with a lengthy Paddy Jackson pass on penalty advantage and Ollie Hassell-Collins quickly kicked ahead after a brief sprint forward.

Cue the moment for Arundell to make his swashbuckling first impression on the new 2022/23 season as he chased after the Hassell-Collins kick and kicked it further forward with a sweet football-style connection with the inside of his left boot.

That brilliant improvisation scattered the Worcester defence and Arundell gathered the ball after its fourth bounce to score with his first handling touch. The Premiership Rugby TV commentator was left ecstatic by what had happened. “Great footballing skills, he is going to score with his first touch.

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“Brilliantly rounded off, the bonus try, and Henry Arundell – who has been on the pitch for no longer than about 40 seconds – has one neat little chip ahead, great footballing skills, picks up and dabs down.”

London Irish went on to win 45-14 with Arundell adding his second try in the closing minute. It was the type of brilliant cameo that will leave Declan Kidney delighted but still scratching his head to know what an ‘average’ performance by the teenager is.

Speaking last week to RugbyPass, the director of rugby said: “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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