Henry Arundell is tipped to become a “rock star” of rugby after startling team-mates and spectators with his exploits in training that have secured a place on England’s bench.
London Irish’s teenage sensation has only been involved in 10 club matches in his debut professional season but a series of dynamic tries and line-breaks have already gone viral.
Now he is poised to make his Test debut as a replacement in Saturday’s first Test against Australia at Perth’s Optus Stadium with Eddie Jones comparing his eye for the try-line to that of South Africa great Brian Habana.
“Henry scored…how long is the field, 100 metres? He scored a 90-metre try at training on Wednesday. There were a few, I won’t use the expletives, ‘he’s fast!’ heard,” Jones said.
“We had a number of coaches from different sports watching and they heard this comment.
“He scored a try not many other players in the world would have scored. It was like a try Bryan Habana used to score – one of those.
“He could be a very good player but he’s got a long way to go. We feel like if he continues his development and we’re able to give him some game time on this tour, by the World Cup he could be a significant player.”
England second row Jonny Hill was among those who saw Arundell light up training.
“I was stood in the other 22. It was crazy. I asked him what he thought he was, percentage-wise for running speed and he said 85-90,” Hill said.
“He rounded a couple of lads – Mako Vunipola and Will Stuart, I think it was! No, I think was some back-three lads.
“It was very impressive. He’s a proper rock star, isn’t he? I’m sure he’s going to have a big future.”